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Lincomycin, clindamycin and pseudomembranous colitis

Abstract

Lincomycin (Lincocin - Upjohn; Mycivin - Boots) and clindamycin (Dalacin C - Upjohn) are widely used for the treatment of a variety of infections.1 2 Until now they have been considered to have virtually no serious unwanted effects.3 The most common unwanted effect has been diarrhoea, which occurs in 10% or more of patients treated with lincomycin; this has only occasionally been severe enough to lead to the discontinuation of the drug. Recent reports, however, show that both lincomycin4 and clindamycin5 6 can cause a colitis which on gross and microscopic examination resembles pseudomembranous colitis, and which in some cases has been fatal. The condition has apparently occurred after both oral and parenteral administration of clindamycin.6

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