Compare Keflex vs. Cleocin

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

Keflex
(cephalexin)

Cleocin T
(clindamycin phosphate)

Treats bacterial infections. Keflex (cephalexin) is good for treating many bacterial infections, and is available as a generic.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.08Keflex
Reviews for Keflex
64%
of people (All ages) say Keflex is worth it
48%
say it works well
14%
say it's a big hassle
686 reviews
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cleocin
57%
+7% better vs. Keflex
43%
+5% better vs. Keflex
19%
+5% better vs. Keflex
115 reviews
Have you used Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
KeflexCleocin

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

More about Keflex side effects »
  • Any side effect 21%
  • Vaginal moniliasis 8%
  • Vulvovaginitis 6%
  • Vulvovaginal disorder 3%
  • Moniliasis (body) 2%
  • Fungal infection 2%
More Cleocin side effects »
How it works
KeflexCleocin
Keflex (cephalexin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from making their own protective covering.Cleocin T (Clindamycin Phosphate) is an antibiotic and acne medicine. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.
Type of medication
KeflexCleocin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
KeflexCleocin
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Topical
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Foam
  • Vaginal cream
  • Vaginal suppository
  • Injection
Used for
KeflexCleocin
Risk factors for serious side effects
KeflexCleocin
  • Weakened immune system
  • Not taking Keflex (cephalexin) correctly
  • History of penicillin or cephalosporin allergies
Detailed Keflex (cephalexin) risks & warnings »
  • History of liver disease
Detailed Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

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

Food
KeflexCleocin
  • Can take with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
KeflexCleocin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • There have been reports of liver damage that can require hospitalization or can cause death. These have been rare. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
Pain
KeflexCleocin
No pain related info.
  • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Upsides and benefits
KeflexCleocin
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Generally few side effects compared with other antibiotics.
  • Available in generic.
  • Topical form treats acne.
  • Available in different oral forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Available in forms to treat skin infections and vaginal infections.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial 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.
Downsides and risks
KeflexCleocin
  • Can cause diarrhea.
  • You may need to take Keflex (cephalexin) 2 to 4 times a day, which can be hard to remember.
  • If you're allergic to penicillins or other antibiotics, you might not be able to take this medicine.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
KeflexCleocin
  • Finish all of the medicine your doctor gives you, even if you start to feel better. Stopping it early can cause the bacteria to develop resistance.
  • Store the suspension in the refrigerator. Shake well before using, and discard the bottle after 14 days.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • The forms taken by mouth can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Take this medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about KeflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Keflex (cephalexin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CleocinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it