UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Title: Clindamycin's Role in Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

Keywords: clindamycin, MRSA, SSTI (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/1/2014 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD (Emailed: 7/5/2014) (Updated: 7/5/2014)
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Clindamycin used to be a first-line agent for many SSTIs, particularly where MRSA was suspected. With growing resistance to staph species, the 2014 IDSA Guidelines recommend clindamycin as an option only in the following situations:

  • Nonpurulent SSTI (primarily strep species)
    • Mild - oral clindamycin
    • Moderate - IV clindamcyin
    • Severe, necrotizing infections - adjunctive clindamycin only with suspected or culture-confirmed strep pyogenes
  • Purulent SSTI (primarily staph species)
    • Clindamycin only recommended in moderate or severe cases if cultures yield MSSA

* Clindamycin may be used if clindamycin resistance is <10-15% at the institution.


Stevens DL, et al. Practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of skin and soft tissue infections: 2014 update by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clin Infect Dis 2014;59(2):e10-52. [PMID 24947530]

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