Clindamycin/tretinoin gel - topical
Clindamycin/tretinoin gel - topical
This combination medication is used to treat acne. It helps decrease the number and severity of acne pimples and helps pimples that do develop to heal more quickly. Tretinoin belongs to a class of medications called retinoids. It works by affecting the growth of skin cells. Clindamycin is an antibiotic that stops the growth of bacteria that cause acne.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Wash your hands before applying this medication. Gently clean the affected skin with a mild/soapless cleanser and pat dry. Use your fingertips to apply a small amount of medication (about the size of a pea) in a thin layer over the face, usually once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. Be careful to avoid the eyes and lip area.
Use this medication on the skin only. Do not apply to the inner lip area or inside the nose/mouth. Do not apply to cut, scraped, sunburned, or eczema-affected skin.
Avoid getting this medication in your eyes. If this occurs, flush with large amounts of water. Call your doctor if eye irritation develops. Wash your hands after using the medication to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes.
During the first few weeks of using this product, your acne might appear worse because the medication is working on pimples forming inside the skin. It may take several weeks to notice results from this medication.
Use it regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time each day. Do not use a larger amount or use it more frequently than recommended. Your skin will not improve any faster, but your risk of redness, peeling, and pain will increase.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
Skin redness, dryness, itching, peeling, mild burning/stinging, or worsening of acne may occur during the first 2 to 4 weeks of using the medication. These effects usually decrease with continued use. A daytime moisturizer may be helpful for very dry skin (see Notes). If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Your doctor may want you to decrease how often you use the medication or stop using it.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:
This medication may be absorbed into your bloodstream and very rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
In the US -
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to clindamycin or to tretinoin; or to lincomycin; or to vitamin A-related drugs (other retinoids such as isotretinoin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have:
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Weather extremes such as wind or cold may also be irritating to the skin. Use sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness. Wait until your skin has completely recovered from a sunburn before using this product.
Avoid electrolysis, waxing, and chemical depilatories for hair removal on the treated areas while using this product.
If you have recently used products containing sulfur, resorcinol, or salicylic acid, use this product with caution. Wait until the effects of such products on the skin have decreased before using this medication.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It may harm an unborn baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
See also Precautions section.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
Benzoyl peroxide can be very irritating and may decrease the effectiveness of this medication if the two products are applied at the same time. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about using prescription and non-prescription benzoyl peroxide products safely.
This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Some cosmetics and soaps may worsen your acne. Moisturizers may be safe to use. When buying cosmetics, moisturizers, or other skin care products, check the label for "non-comedogenic" or "non-acnegenic." These products are unlikely to worsen your acne. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which products are safe to use. Remember, acne is not caused by dirt. Cleaning your skin too often or too vigorously can irritate your skin and worsen acne.
If you forget to use this medication, use it as soon as you remember if you remember the same day. If you don't remember until the next day, wait until your next dose is scheduled.
Store with the cap tightly closed at room temperature away from light and moisture. Gel preparations are flammable. Do not expose to heat or fire sources. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2019.
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