12.18 Anti-Infective – Lincosamide

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Included In This Lesson



  1. Overview
    1. Antibacterial agents
  2. Mechanism of Action
    1. Inhibit protein synthesis
    2. Bacteriostatic or bactericidal
  3. Types
    1. Lincomycin
    2. Clindamycin
    3. Pirlimycin
  4. Indications
    1. Anaerobic infections
      1. Empyema
      2. Lung abscess
      3. Peritonitis
      4. Intra-abdominal infections
    2. Gram-positive cocci (strep/staph)
      1. Pharyngitis
      2. Otitis media
      3. Cellulitis
  5. Contraindications
    1. GI disease
      1. Colitis
      2. Enteritis
  6. Side Effects
    1. N / V / D
    2. C. difficile-associated diarrhea
    3. Metallic taste in mouth
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Welcome back and today we are going to discuss lincosamides.
Now these types of medications are antibacterial and can be bacteriostatic or bactericidal, based on dosing. They work by inhibiting protein synthesis (interfering with communication – RNA/DNA). No communication will stop bacterial growth. Types of lincosamide include drugs ending in -MYCIN.

The indications are plentiful but I want you to focus on the groups, anaerobic (infections that lack oxygen and are often apart of normal bodily flora)  and gram + cocci, which features many different types of infections. Empyema is pus-collection in the pleural space, while lung abscess is a pocket of infection in the lung. Peritonitis is inflammation of the abdominal wall. For anaerobic think lungs and gut. While Gram + cocci focus more on pharyngitis (sore throat), otitis media (ear infection) and cellulitis (skin infections).


All these side effects revolve around gastrointestinal issues? Why? Well, their alternation of the bowel flora. These medications clean hours, destroying good and bad flora, leaving the gut susceptible to such issues. Side effects are GI focused an include N/V/D, C diff (when you smell this, you will NOT forget it) and oddly enough a metallic taste in mouth. From what patients tell me, the taste lingers.

Priority nursing concepts for a patient receiving lincosamides include infection control and pharmacology.

Let’s review, lincosamides are antibacterial agents with ending with -MYCIN. Indications are anaerobic and gram + cocci infections (GA). As these antibiotics can cause GI issues, patients with GI issues are contraindicated from take this mediation. Side effects are GI focused with metallic taste being the outlier.
Now you know all you need to know about lincosamides. Now go out and be your best self and happy nursing!

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