Clindamycin vs Amoxicillin – Which Antibiotic Is Best for Tooth & Sinus Infection?

Clindamycin is an antibiotic that is given to treat bacterial infections. It works by stopping bacteria from producing the protein they require to reproduce in order to spread the infection in the human body. It will not work for viral infections.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved this antibiotic in February 1970. It is also on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. In addition, it is available in multiple brand and generic versions.


It is indicated for the treatment of gram-positive organisms, gram-positive cocci, some anaerobic and microaerobic gram-negative. In addition, it is used for treating penicillin-allergic sufferers or in situations where other antibiotics cannot be used.

For example, it is prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the airways, skin, joints, blood, bones, and internal organs. Also, it is used to treat bacterial infections of the vagina as well as to treat acne.

Moreover, it is used before dental surgery or procedures to prevent infections in individuals who have heart conditions which actually put them at increased risk of infection. Lastly, it is prescribed to treat babesiosis, a malaria-like parasitic disease that is caused by ticks that have been infected with a parasite.


The dose of this antibiotic will be different for different people. Follow the directions on the label or your healthcare provider’s orders. However, the usual recommended adult dose is 150 mg to 450 mg every 6 hours.

If you miss a dose, it is suggested to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, you should wait until then and take a regular dose.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • stomach pain;
  • low blood pressure;
  • nausea;
  • vaginal itching;
  • joint pain;
  • stomach pain;
  • diarrhea;
  • metallic taste;
  • vomiting;
  • rash;
  • changes in bowel habits;
  • a sore throat;
  • heartburn;
  • skin rash or itching.

Rare side effects may include:

  • changes in the amount of urine;
  • dark urine;
  • yellowing eyes and skin.

Note – C. difficile-associated colitis is rare in subjects taking this antibiotic for 3 days or less.

Before using this antibiotic, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • eczema or allergic skin reaction;
  • a history of asthma;
  • Crohn’s disease (a form of IBD which may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract);
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is important that you tell your healthcare professional if you are expecting or breastfeeding a baby before taking this antibiotic.


Many antibiotics, including this one, may cause an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the colon. This may cause mild diarrhea and dehydration.


It is the generic form of the brand-name drug Amoxil, a medicine used to treat bacterial infections.

This antibiotic is the first-line treatment of middle ear infections (otitis media). Furthermore, it may be used for pneumonia, strep throat (an infection of the back of the throat), urinary tract infections, and skin infections.

It belongs to a group of drugs called penicillin antibiotics, that work by blocking the growth of pathogenic bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration first approved this medicine in 1980.


It can treat numerous bacterial infections in many areas of the human body. It might be prescribed if you have:

  • a sexually transmitted infection, like – chlamydia or gonorrhea;
  • pneumonia;
  • an ear infection;
  • a urinary tract infection;
  • a chest infection;
  • a skin infection.

This medicine is occasionally used together with another antibiotic to treat stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori infection.


The dose depends on the type of infection being treated. However, the usual dose is 250 or 500 milligrams 3 times per day (at least 4 hours apart). This should be early in the morning, early afternoon, and before going to bed.

It is available in many preparations (tablets, capsules, pediatric oral suspension, chewable tablets, and powder for oral suspension).


To prevent unnecessary side effects, avoid alcohol intake while taking this antibiotic.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • a decrease in the quantity of urine;
  • trouble passing urine;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • diarrhea;
  • unusual bruising;
  • breathing problems;
  • unusually weak;
  • dark urine;
  • seizures;
  • swelling of the lips, face, or tongue;
  • hives;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • dizziness;
  • headaches;
  • stomach upset;
  • peeling or loosening of the skin.

Rare side effects may include:

  • bloating;
  • stomach cramps or pains;
  • black, tarry stools;
  • chest pain;
  • back pain;
  • blood in the urine;
  • bleeding gums;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • blistering of the skin;
  • severe diarrhea, that may be bloody;
  • difficulty swallowing;
  • chills;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • a cough;
  • breathing difficulties;
  • dark urine;
  • fever;
  • diarrhea;
  • heavier menstrual periods;
  • general body swelling;
  • increased thirst;
  • inflammation of the joints;
  • loss of appetite;
  • muscle aches;
  • joint pain;
  • nosebleeds;
  • vomiting;
  • shortness of breath;
  • pain in the lower back;
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin;
  • burning while urinating;
  • swelling of the eyelids;
  • pale skin;
  • a sore throat;
  • irritated eyes;
  • swollen lymph glands;
  • white spots  on the lips or in the mouth;
  • a decrease in the amount of urine;
  • unusual weight loss;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • unusual weakness;
  • unpleasant breath odor;
  • bloody diarrhea;
  • wheezing;
  • vomiting of blood.

A serious allergic reaction to this antibiotic is very rare, however, if it occurs contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Signs and symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include:

  • trouble breathing;
  • severe dizziness;
  • swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat);
  • rash.

Prolonged treatment with this medicine can occasionally cause an overgrowth of pathogenic organisms which are not susceptible to this medicine, especially Candida.

Clindamycin vs Amoxicillin – Which Is More Effective?

Amoxicillin is a penicillin that inhibits bacterial wall synthesis, while clindamycin is a lincosamide antibiotic that interferes with bacterial protein synthesis.

Clindamycin has replaced amoxicillin as the recommended antibiotic for the management of odontogenic infections.

Occasionally, it is indicated to treat penicillin-resistant bacteria. Moreover, it may help with sinusitis, however, there are other more frequently used antibiotics for it. On the other hand, amoxicillin is used for strep throat.

Images credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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