Does clindamycin affect blood sugar? (6+ signs and symptoms)

In this article, we will discuss whether Clindamycin affects blood sugar levels or not. Furthermore, we’ll explore the potential interaction between Clindamycin and blood sugar, what research suggests on this, the risks and side effects and managing strategies for blood sugar levels while on Clindamycin. 

Does Clindamycin affect blood sugar?

No, Clindamycin is not associated with affecting blood sugar levels as a side effect. This antibiotic particularly has not been reported in clinical trials to alter one’s glycemic levels. (1)

However, Clindamycin may affect blood sugar levels when used in combination with some other medications that have a direct influence on BGL as sometimes drugs may interact in the worst unexpected ways and the intensity of side effects gets increased by 10 folds. (1)

Clindamycin is an antibiotic, FDA-approved, for the treatment of a wide range of bacterial diseases that might include respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, ear infections, intra-abdominal and dental infections among others. It exerts its action by blocking the synthesis of bacterial protein thus inactivating the bacteria. (1)

If you’re taking Clindamycin alone or in combination and there’s a marked increase or decrease in your blood sugar levels, reach out to your healthcare provider promptly. They will identify the underlying cause for you and will tailor the specific treatment plan that suits you best. (2)

What’s the potential interaction between Clindamycin and blood sugar?

There is no direct interaction found between clindamycin and blood sugar levels. However, Clindamycin may sometimes indirectly affect the blood sugar in some individuals in very rare cases. The factors which are indirectly involved may include: (2)

Gastrointestinal effects: 

Clindamycin is often associated with certain gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort. These symptoms may potentially affect nutrient absorption including glucose in the digestive system which can alter blood sugar levels to some extent. However, this is not a significant concern reported by most people.

Altered gut microbiota: 

Antibiotics like Clindamycin are known to alter the balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. As per reports, there is some evidence suggesting a connection between gut microbiota and the metabolic health of a person including, blood sugar regulation. Therefore, changes in the gut microbiome might, in theory, influence glucose metabolism but this is not entirely clear yet. 

Individual variability:

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is unique and individuals may respond differently to certain medications. Some of the individual factors like their genetic makeup, metabolic and overall health and any pre-existing disease can influence how a drug affects the body. So, some individuals may experience changes in their blood sugar levels while taking Clindamycin, but this is not considered a common and well-established side effect. 

What does research suggest? 

There is very limited research on the effects of Clindamycin on blood sugar levels. However, some researchers have indicated that Clindamycin may indirectly cause changes in blood sugar if used concomitantly with other drugs, particularly in combination with certain antibiotics that are well known for their hypoglycemic effects. (3)

The researchers looked at the information provided by the FDA about people who had problems with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) while taking certain antibiotics. They collected the data from 2004-2007 reports. (3)

They found that the antibiotics which were associated with higher chances of hypoglycemia include clarithromycin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin, cefditoren and linezolid. Clindamycin risk was not included in this report but using it concomitantly with any of these might lead to interaction and affect blood sugars. (3)

What are the signs and symptoms of altered blood sugar?

Altered blood sugar levels, whether too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia) can cause various signs and symptoms one must be aware of. Here are some key indicators for both conditions: (4)

High blood sugar (Hyperglycemia):

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Increased hunger
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Irritability (mood changes, difficulty concentrating)

Low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia):

  • Shakiness or tremors
  • Sweating
  • Paleness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Irritability or mood changes
  • Headache
  • Hunger

Individuals responses to altered blood sugar levels may vary and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. 

What are the precautions for individuals with diabetes using Clindamycin?

If you’re diabetic and your healthcare provider prescribes Clindamycin or any other antibiotic, it’s important to take a few precautions and manage your health effectively. 

Make sure to monitor your blood glucose levels daily, especially during clindamycin treatment. This will help identify any potential impact on your blood sugar while taking Clindamycin. (4)

Inform your healthcare provider about your pre-existing health conditions including diabetes and tell them about all the medications you might have been taking including all prescription, OTC and herbal supplements. This will help your doctor identify any potential interaction and ensure your safety. (1,4)

Try to stick to a balanced and healthy diet as recommended by your healthcare team. If your blood sugars drop, consistent carbohydrate intake and meal planning can help manage blood sugar levels effectively. 

Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated especially if gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhoea occur as a result of taking antibiotics. Also, be aware of these gastric side effects of Clindamycin as they can impact your nutrient absorption and potentially influence blood sugar levels. (4)

As a pharmacist, in my opinion, Clindamycin is a safe choice of antibiotic for the majority of healthy individuals with no diabetes. However, it has not shown significantly harmful side effects while used in diabetic patients too. What’s important is to be vigilant, keep an eye on your symptoms and schedule timely follow-up visits to your doctor for regular monitoring. 

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National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus Drug Information. Clindamycin, [Internet], Available from:


National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus Drug Information. Bloog glucose, [Internet]. Available from: