Does Clindamycin Really Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?

When you look at the list of medical treatments for bacterial vaginosis, you’ll only find two prescription drugs that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control:  Flagyl and Clindamycin. Clindamycin is given in the form of a cream that is inserted intravaginally.

When you examine the list of side effects of Clindamycin, you’ll notice that one of the top six side effects of the drug is a fungal infection.

And it’s common sense to ask these questions:

If I take an antibiotic to eliminate one thing but taking that antibiotic gives me another infection, is it really worth it? Aren’t I just swapping diseases?

This is a good question, especially when it’s possible to contract a fungal infection after taking an antibiotic. Fungal infections are more difficult to clear up, and often require even stronger antibiotics that have even worse side effects.

After taking an antibiotic for bacterial vaginosis, you expect your symptoms to be gone forever. But when you notice that you already have genital itching, burning, pain and vaginal discharge and the Clindamycin caused every one of these, what was the point of taking the antibiotic? Why trade the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis for the same symptoms that indicate another possible infection?

The Body Has More Microbes In It Than Regular Tissue Cells

It is said that we are a walking bag of microbes. Each organ in the body has a particular blend of microbes that creates the right environment for that organ to function at high capacity. The number of microbes in the body exceeds the number of human cells. When the blend of microbes, called flora, is upset, disease takes a stronghold in the body.

How Antibiotics Work to Treat Bacterial Vaginosis

Taking an antibiotic is always tricky in the body. When you take an antibiotic, you kill certain types of microbes, allowing others to proliferate. This means you essentially give a chance for the microbes that cause disease to grow wild and reduce the scores of bacteria that protect you from disease. Many medical doctors and researchers now believe that a series of antibiotics can actually aggravate a condition by disrupting the balance of the flora. Meanwhile, other medical doctors think nothing of prescribing antibiotic after antibiotic, even four or more rounds of the different drugs! Shouldn’t the light bulb in the brain turn on and show them that perhaps the drugs or the drug theory was wrong from the start?

When a person is repeatedly treated for infections in the same organ and the infection still hasn’t resolved, it usually means that a fungal infection is now the cause of the continuing symptoms.

Don’t Be Shortsighted About The Problem

Another factor to consider before you fill up the applicator with Clindamycin is the bacterial vaginosis recurrence rate.  Both vaginal creams used for bacterial vaginosis, Flagyl and Clindamycin, have “cure” rates of 50-95% but relapse rates are 34 to 49% four weeks later.

Side Effects of Clindamycin Can Be Horrendous

Another problem is that exchanging one infection for another isn’t the only potential problem. Clindamycin can also cause a disorder called exfoliative dermatitis, which is where the skin exfoliates, sometimes in large “sheets” of skin. It’s similar to sunburn peeling, but worse.

Clindamycin can also cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Who can be fun to be around or even simply pleasant when they have these types of symptoms? And that’s not all. Some people develop colitis symptoms, which means that they will have bouts of diarrhea after eating certain foods in a meal. They never know when these diarrhea attacks will strike, making them more ominous than one could imagine, and eventually causing phobias of being out in public. Certainly a few bad instances when someone doesn’t make it to the bathroom in the nick of time will make one consider when and where they will go if they ever leave the house again.

Hypersensitivity reactions are also common. Skin rashes are the most frequently reported, and the rashes can look like hives or can have little blisters. It’s also possible to have anaphylactic shock.

Kidney function can be altered, increasing trips to the bathroom to urinate along with elevated protein levels in the urine. A unique type of arthritis called polyarthritis, arthritis that affects multiple joints at once, can occur as well.

And the immune system can be altered as the drug increases the number of eosinophils while lowering the number of neutrophils.

Some people would say that these side effects only happen to a small percentage of people taking Clindamycin. However, that type of thinking is illogical because it doesn’t matter to YOU how many people don’t end up with the symptoms. What’s most important is whether or not YOU will get the side effects and if you do, how severe will they be? Is it worth a game of Russian Roulette? If you’re the one person who ends up with polyarthritis for life, how important were the statistics to you?

Knowing all these details, one can only conclude this:

Does Clindamycin REALLY treat bacterial vaginosis?

And if so, is it really worth the risks?