1. A steady-state perfusion technique has been used in vivo in normal subjects to show that at concentrations occurring during therapeutic use (500 mg/l, 1.1 mmol/l) the antibiotic clindamycin reversibly inhibits bicarbonate-stimulated water and electrolyte absorption from the human jejunum.
2. Lactose-stimulated water and electrolyte absorption was not affected by the addition of clindamycin at the same concentration.
3. Clindamycin-induced malabsorption of water and electrolytes may contribute significantly to the diarrhoea that occurs during clindamycin therapy in the absence of pseudomembranous colitis.