Urinary tract infections are so common that nearly everyone will have one at some point in their life. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat a urinary tract infection. One of those is the prescription antibiotic clindamycin, which prevents bacteria from synthesizing essential proteins needed to multiply.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria that are normally present on the skin or in the stool end up in the urinary tract. In almost all cases, this occurs in the urethra. When the bacteria invade the urethra, your immune system acts to disarm them. When your immune system fails, the bacteria colonize the urethra, reproducing and spreading as they go. If the infection continues, it will spread up the urinary tract to the bladder and eventually the kidneys. The higher your UTI travels up the urinary tract, the more serious the infection. Clindamycin is often used to treat more-serious UTIs, including those that affect the upper urinary tract.
Clindamycin can be used to treat UTIs, and is often prescribed under the brand name Cleocin. It works by preventing bacteria from producing proteins that are essential to their survival. It is most often prescribed as a tablet, but is also produced in a suspension liquid form. Like all antibiotics, clindamycin works best when there is a constant level of the drug in your body, so take it at regular intervals as prescribed and avoid missing doses.
Your clindamycin prescription will come with specific instructions for usage. The capsule form can irritate your throat, so take it with a full glass of water to avoid a sore throat or inflammation. You should also avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after you take it. You will begin to feel relief of the UTI symptoms after being on clindamycin for a short time. However, continue to take the medication as prescribed and finish the full course to ensure that the infection has truly been eliminated.
Possible Side Effects
As with any drug, clindamycin has some side effects that can occur. You may have vaginal itching or discharge or develop a skin rash. Loss of appetite, less-frequent urination and stomach pain are also common side effects. You may also develop watery or bloody diarrhea. Some users may even experience jaundice— a yellowing of the eyes and/or skin. Discuss any side effects with your health-care provider.
Before taking any prescription drugs, alert your health-care provider about any allergies you may have. Avoid this medication if you are allergic to clindamycin or lincomycin. You should also avoid taking it if you have Crohn's disease, kidney disease or liver disease. And although clindamycin has not been known to affect fetuses or infants adversely, notify your health-care provider if you are pregnant or nursing so that she can decide how best to treat your urinary tract infection.