- Rheumatoid Arthritis Slideshow Pictures
- Take the RA Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is indomethacin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for indomethacin?
- Is indomethacin available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for indomethacin?
- What are the side effects of indomethacin?
- What is the dosage for indomethacin?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with indomethacin?
- Is indomethacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about indomethacin?
What is indomethacin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Indomethacin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces fever, pain and inflammation. It is similar to ibuprofen (Motrin) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve). Indomethacin works by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that the body produces and which cause the fever and pain that are associated with inflammation. Indomethacin blocks the enzymes that make prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase 1 and 2) and thereby reduces the levels of prostaglandins. As a result, fever, pain and inflammation are reduced. Indomethacin is available in an extended release form. The FDA first approved indomethacin in January 1965.
What are the side effects of indomethacin?
: Common side effects of indomethacin are:
- stomach discomfort,
- dizziness and
Other important side effects are:
Some individuals are allergic to NSAIDs and may develop shortness of breath when an NSAID is taken. People with asthma are at a higher risk for experiencing serious allergic reaction to NSAIDs. Individuals with a serious allergy to one NSAID are likely to experience a similar reaction to a different NSAID.
Indomethacin may cause ulceration of the stomach or intestine, and the ulcers may bleed. Sometimes, ulceration may lead to perforation of the intestine and bleeding can occur without abdominal pain, and black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension) may be the only signs of a ulceration.
NSAIDs can reduce the ability of blood to clot thereby increasing bleeding after an injury.
NSAIDs reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys and impair function of the kidneys. The impairment is most likely to occur in patients with preexisting impairment of kidney function or congestive heart failure, and use of NSAIDs in these patients should be done cautiously. Individuals who have nasal polyps or are allergic to aspirin or other NSAIDs should not use indomethacin because there is an increased risk of severe allergic reactions in these individuals.
Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
What is the dosage for indomethacin?
- The recommended adult dose of regular release indomethacin for treating inflammation or rheumatoid disorders is 50-200 mg per day split into 2-3 doses.
- The dose for extended release indomethacin is 75-150 mg divided into two daily doses.
- Bursitis or tendonitis are treated with a total dose of 75-150 mg daily of regular release indomethacin divided into 3 or 4 doses or 75-150 mg daily of extended release divided into two doses.
- Acute gouty arthritis is treated with 50 mg every 8 hours for 3 to 5 days. I
- Indomethacin should be taken with food and 8-12 ounces of water in order to reduce abdominal discomfort.
Which drugs or supplements interact with indomethacin?
Cholestyramine (Questran) and colestipol (Colestid) may decrease the absorption of indomethacin by binding to indomethacin in the intestine and preventing absorption into the body. Indomethacin and other NSAIDs may decrease the elimination of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by the kidneys and, therefore, increase the blood level of lithium, which could lead to lithium toxicity.
Indomethacin may interfere with the blood pressure-lowering effects of drugs that are given to reduce blood pressure. This may occur because prostaglandins play a role in the regulation of blood pressure.
When indomethacin is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycosides (for example, gentamicin) the blood levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because their elimination from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
If aspirin is taken with indomethacin there may be an increased risk for developing an ulcer.
Persons who have more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day may be at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking indomethacin or other NSAIDs.
Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example, warfarin (Coumadin), should avoid indomethacin because indomethacin also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.PREGNANCY Use during pregnancy has not been adequately studied. Indomethacin may have adverse effects on the fetus.
Is indomethacin safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Indomethacin is excreted in breast milk and therefore should be avoided by nursing mothers.
What else should I know about indomethacin?
What preparations of indomethacin are available?
- Capsules: 25 and 50 mg
- Capsules, extended release: 75 mg
- Suspension: 25 mg/ml
- Suppositories: 50 mg.
- Injection (powder): 1 mg
How should I keep indomethacin stored?
Capsules should be kept at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Oral suspension and suppositories should be kept below 30 C (86 F). The oral suspension should not be frozen.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideRheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
indomethacin; Indocin, Indocin-SR (Discontinued Brand in U.S.) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug prescribed for the treatment of inflammation caused by gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, soft tissue injuries such as bursitis and tendinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylolsing spondylitis. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy safety, and dosage information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Ankylosing Spondylitis Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
What is ankylosing spondylitis? Take this quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful disorder....
Gout Quiz: What is Gout? Is There a Gout Diet?
Learn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful...
Picture of Gout
Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation...
Related Disease Conditions
Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form
Stool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Bursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma...
Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension) Symptoms and Treatments
Low blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition....
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also...
Bursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms...
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing...
Pericarditis (Symptoms, ECG, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from...
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found in the joints that cusions them. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, most commonly...
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...
Reactive arthritis is a chronic, systemic rheumatic disease characterized by three conditions, including conjunctivitis, joint...
Diabetes insipidus is a condition in which the patient has frequent urination. Symptoms of diabetes insipidus include irritable,...
Uveitis is inflammation of the eye. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness, photophobia, and floaters. Treatment...
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Ulcers
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed medications for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Examples of...
Calcific bursitis is the calcification of the bursa caused by chronic inflammation of the bursa. Calcific bursitis most commonly...
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six...
Weber-Christian disease is a rare inflammatory disease that affects the body's fat tissues. It's also known as relapsing febrile...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Gout FAQs
- Ankylosing Spondylitis FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Tramadol: for Pain (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- celecoxib, Celebrex
- Drug Interactions
- nabumetone, Relafen (Discontinued)
- piroxicam, Feldene
- etodolac, Lodine (Discontinued)
- baclofen, Gablofen, Lioresal
- flurbiprofen (Ansaid is a discontinued brand)
- oxaprozin, Daypro
- sulindac, Clinoril
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- fenoprofen, Nalfon
- ketoprofen (Discontinued brands: Nexcede, Orudis, Oruvail, Actron)
- tolmetin, Tolectin (Discontinued Brand)
- valdecoxib, Bextra
- bromfenac, Duract
Prevention & Wellness
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top indomethacin Related ArticlesComplete List
Ankylosing SpondylitisWhat is ankylosing spondylitis? Take this quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful disorder.
ArthritisArthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
Gout PictureCondition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis), deposits of hard lumps of uric acid in and around the joints, and decreased kidney function and kidney stones. See a picture of Gout and learn more about the health topic.
Take the Gout QuizLearn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful arthritic condition.
Hip BursitisBursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma or strain. Symptoms include stiffness and pain around the hip joint. If the hip bursa is not infected, hip bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Knee BursitisBursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. Treatment of knee bursitis depends on whether infection is involved. If the knee bursa is not infected, knee bursitis may be treated with ice compresses, rest, and antiinflammatory and pain medications.
Low Blood PressureLow blood pressure, also referred to as hypotension, is blood pressure that is so low that it causes symptoms or signs due to the low flow of blood through the arteries and veins. Some of the symptoms of low blood pressure include:
- dizziness, or
- even fainting if not enough blood is getting to the brain.
OsteoarthritisOsteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also known as degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by aging, heredity, and injury from trauma or disease.
Psoriatic ArthritisPsoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Rheumatoid ArthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.
Shoulder BursitisShoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition. Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and pain with movement of the shoulder joint. Treatment may involve ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications and depends on whether there is an infection.
Stool Color ChangesStool color changes can very from green, red, maroon, yellow, white, or black. Causes of changes of stool color can range from foods a person eats, medication, diseases or conditions, pregnancy, cancer, or tumors. Stool can also have texture changes such as greasy or floating stools. Stool that has a uncharacteristically foul odor may be caused by infections such as giardiasis or medical conditions.