Compare Flagyl vs. Cleocin

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

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Flagyl (metronidazole)

Prescription only

Cleocin (clindamycin)

Prescription only
Treats and prevents bacterial infections.

Flagyl (metronidazole) is very good at treating certain bacterial infections, but you can't have any alcohol while on it since it'll make you throw up a lot.

Treats acne.

Cleocin (clindamycin) is proven to be effective at treating acne when combined with another acne medicine and is available in a variety of formulations.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 115 reviewsforCleocin
Upsides
  • Flagyl (metronidazole) is good at killing a variety of bacteria.
  • Unlike many other antibiotics, Flagyl (metronidazole) is less likely to make bacteria resistant to it.
  • Most forms are available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Available in generic.
  • Comes in different formulations (gel, solution, lotion, foam) to fit your preferences.
  • Works well for the kind of acne that causes large, red, and swollen pimples.
Downsides
  • You can't drink alcohol while on Flagyl (metronidazole), and for at least 3 days after you finish it.
  • Side effects can include nausea, headache, stomach upset, and a metallic taste in your mouth.
  • If you're taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time, there's a risk of more side effects, such as nerve damage.
  • If you're on blood thinners, let your doctor know. Flagyl (metronidazole) can interact with your medicines and make you more likely to bleed.
  • Foam formulation can cause headaches.
  • You will likely have to use another acne medicine along with Cleocin (clindamycin) since it is not as effective by itself.
  • Is only preferred for mild to moderate acne. If you have severe acne your doctor will most likely prescribe an oral medication.
  • If you only have comedonal acne (small skin-colored bumps on the skin) without any red, swollen pimples, your doctor may give you an alternative medicine.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended-release pill
  • Injection
  • Gel
  • Foam
  • Solution
  • Lotion
Price
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Reviews
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115 reviews so far
57%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
19%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
13possible side effects
  • Headache
    18%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Metallic taste
    9%
  • Genital itching
    5%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Stomach problems
    4%
  • Overgrowth of yeast
    3%
  • Stuffy nose
    3%
  • Menstrual cramps
    3%
  • Abnormal urine
    3%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
9possible side effects
  • Dryness
    23%
  • Oiliness/Oily skin
    18%
  • Redness
    16%
  • Burning
    11%
  • Burning/Itching
    11%
  • Peeling
    11%
  • Itching
    11%
  • Burning where applied
    6%
  • Headache
    3%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Seizure or brain problems
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Nerve damage
    • Taking high doses of Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) for a long time
  • Cancer
  • New infection while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
    • Taking Flagyl (metronidazole) incorrectly
  • Interaction with alcohol
    • Drinking alcohol while taking Flagyl (metronidazole)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Skin irritation
    • Using other medicines or products that irritate the skin
    • Eczema
    • Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
  • Severe diarrhea and stomach cramps
    • Using Cleocin (clindamycin) for a long time
See more detailed risks and warnings