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- 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.
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
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- Gout FAQs
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- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
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- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
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Medications & Supplements
- flurbiprofen (Ansaid is a discontinued brand)
- sulindac, Clinoril
- oxaprozin, Daypro
- piroxicam, Feldene
- etodolac, Lodine (Discontinued)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- fenoprofen, Nalfon
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- ketoprofen (Discontinued brands: Nexcede, Orudis, Oruvail, Actron)
- nabumetone, Relafen (Discontinued)
- tolmetin, Tolectin (Discontinued Brand)
- Tramadol: for Pain (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip)
- bromfenac, Duract
- baclofen (Gablofen, Lioresal)
- celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Drugs: What You Should Know About Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- valdecoxib, Bextra
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
Prevention & Wellness
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 Articles
Ankle Pain and TendinitisAnkle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within 24 hours) to severe (which can require surgical repair). Tendinitis of the ankle can be caused by trauma or inflammation.
Ankylosing SpondylitisAnkylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited. Treatment incorporates medications, physical therapy, and exercise.
Ankylosing SpondylitisWhat is ankylosing spondylitis? Take this quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful disorder.
Calcific BursitisCalcific bursitis is the calcification of the bursa caused by chronic inflammation of the bursa. Calcific bursitis most commonly occurs in the shoulder. Calcific bursitis treatment includes medication for inflammation, ice, immobilization, cortisone injections, and occasionally surgical removal of the inflamed bursa.
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.
Juvenile ArthritisJuvenile idiopathic arthritis (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six types of JIA. Treatment of juvenile arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms that manifest.
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.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and UlcersNonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed medications for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and more. One common side effect of NSAIDs is peptic ulcer (ulcers of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking NSAIDs.
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.
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.