Lincomycin hydrochloride is a well-established antibiotic drug used in human and veterinary medicine. It is effective primarily against gram-positive pathogens, and not effective against gram-negative bacteria such as Neisserie gonorrhoeae or Neisseria meningitidis. The antibacterial activity of Lincomycin hydrochloride is similar to the group of macrolide antibiotics to which erythromycin belongs. Lincomycin is one of the antibiotics of the lincosamines class. It was first isolated beginning of the 1960s from the microorganism Streptomyces lincolnensis, named after the Licoln, Nebraska, where this microorganism was first analyzed.

Lincomycin hydrochloride is used against susceptible strains of streptococci, pneumococci, and staphlylococci which usually can also be treated with penicillin or erythromycin. As erythromycin has potentially fewer side effects and less serious side effects, it is generally recommended that erythromycin be used instead of lincomycin.

The side effects to be aware off are mostly related to the lower digestive tract. Diarrhea may result from the administration of lincomycin (as it may from the administration of other broad-spectrum antibiotics). As antibiotics not only work against pathogenic bacteria but also against those bacteria which are part of the digestive-tract flora of a healthy individual, they often result in increased activity of fungal agents that also inhabit the human digestive tract.

As they are then not kept in check by friendly bacteria, microorganisms such as clostridia have the opportunity to grow excessively. Their toxins may lead to colitis, an infection / inflammation of the colon which may follow the treatment with lincomycin or other broad-spectrum antibiotics. Colitis may start during treatment or up to several weeks later.

Lincomycin has been used in a considerable variety of illnesses, including infections of the mouth and upper respiratory tract, as well as skin infections. Primarily because of the colitis risk, it has run out of favor with many physicians for the treatment of many conditions.