Compare Cleocin vs. Penicillin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Cleocin T
(Clindamycin Phosphate)

Penicillin Vk
(Penicillin)

Topical treatment for acne. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and tampons for the period your doctor tells you to. The topical form can cause skin sensitivity and irritation.Kills bacteria. Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. You may need to use another form of birth control along with your birth control pills. It's also best taken on an empty stomach but it can cause an upset stomach.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.794642857142857Cleocin
Reviews for Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate)
57%
of people say Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is worth it
43%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
71%
+14% vs. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate)
52%
+9% vs. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate)
12%
+8% vs. Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate)
Side effects
CleocinPenicillin
  • Vaginal moniliasis 6%
More Cleocin side effects »

The Penicillin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Penicillin side effects »
How it works
CleocinPenicillin
Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is an antibiotic and acne medicine. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.
Type of medication
CleocinPenicillin
Acne agent
Antibiotic
Prescription only
Antibiotic
Penicillin
Prescription only
Available as
CleocinPenicillin
  • Topical
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Foam
  • Vaginal cream
  • Vaginal suppository
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
CleocinPenicillin
Risk factors for serious side effects
CleocinPenicillin
    • History of liver disease
      Detailed Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) risks & warnings »
          • Prior severe allergic reaction to Penicillin Vk (Penicillin)
          Detailed Penicillin Vk (Penicillin) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          CleocinPenicillin
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          See the FDA package insert
          NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

          The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

          See the FDA package insert
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Have to take the oral forms with a full glass of liquid or with food since it can cause irritation in your stomach and esophagus.
          • Can be taken with or without food.
          • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
          Kidneys and liver
          No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
          Sex
          • If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and not use tampons for the period your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're using the vaginal form, don't have sex before the doctor tells you it's ok.
          No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          CleocinPenicillin
          • Topical form treats acne.
          • Available in different oral forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
          • Available in forms to treat skin infections and vaginal infections.
          • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
          • Can be taken with or without food.
          • Available in generic.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule and suspension.
          • Available in generic.
          • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
          Downsides and risks
          CleocinPenicillin
          • Have to take the oral forms with a full glass of liquid or with food since it can cause irritation in your stomach and esophagus.
          • If you're taking the vaginal form, you have to avoid sex and not use tampons for the period your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're allergic to aspirin, your doctor may have to prescribe an alternate.
          • If you have to take live vaccines, talk to your doctor when to take them since Clindamycin can make it less effective.
          • If you're taking the topical form, it can cause sensitivity and irritation.
          • Many bacteria have developed resistance. Your doctor may run tests to see if Penicillin will work on your infection.
          • Can make birth control pills less effective.
          • Best taken on an empty stomach, but can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          CleocinPenicillin
          • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
          • Store the suspension at room temperature.
          • If you're using the topical form, it can take a few weeks to see the full effect.
          • Keep the topical form out of your eyes, nose and mouth.
          • If you're using the topical form, Don't put makeup or bandages over it.
          • If you're using the vaginal form, don't have sex before the doctor tells you it's ok.
          • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          • If you're taking birth control pills, this medication can make them less effective.
          • Try to take it on an empty stomach. If this gives you an upset stomach, take it with food.
          • Can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
          • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
          Learn more
          More about CleocinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about PenicillinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert