- Rheumatoid Arthritis Slideshow Pictures
- Take the RA Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
What is sulindac, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Sulindac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used for treating pain, fever, and inflammation. Other NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen) as well as others. They work by reducing the levels of prostaglandins, chemicals that are produced by the body and are responsible for pain, fever, and inflammation. Sulindac blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. Sulindac was approved by the FDA in September 1978.
What brand names are available for sulindac?
Is sulindac available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for sulindac?
What are the side effects of sulindac?
Most patients benefit from sulindac and other NSAIDs with few side effects. However, serious side effects can occur and generally tend to be dose related, that is, they occur more frequently with higher doses. Therefore, it is advisable to use the lowest effective dose to minimize side effects.
The most common side effects of sulindac involve the gastrointestinal system, and these are:
- ulcerations of the stomach and small intestine,
- abdominal pain,
- serious gastrointestinal bleeding, and
- liver toxicity.
Sometimes, ulceration of the stomach and bleeding can occur without any abdominal pain, and black tarry stools, weakness, and dizziness upon standing (orthostatic hypotension) may be the only signs of internal bleeding.
Other important side effects include:
Sulindac should be avoided by patients with a history of exacerbation of asthma, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin or other NSAIDs. Rare but severe allergic reactions have been reported in such individuals. It also should be avoided by patients with peptic ulcer disease or poor kidney function, since this medication can aggravate both conditions. Fluid retention, blood clots, heart attacks, hypertension, and heart failure have also been associated with the use of NSAIDs such as sulindac.
What is the dosage for sulindac?
The usual adult dose is 150 or 200 mg given twice daily with meals. The maximum dose is 400 mg daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with sulindac?
Sulindac may reduce the blood pressure lowering effects of blood pressure medications. This may occur because prostaglandins have a role in the regulation (reduction) of blood pressure. Combining NSAIDs such as sulindac with angiotensin receptor blockers (for example, valsartan [Diovan], losartan [Cozaar], irbesartan [Avapro]) or angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (for example, enalapril [Vasotec], captopril [Capoten]) in patients who are elderly, fluid-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with poor kidney function may result in reduced kidney function, including kidney failure. These effects usually are reversible.
When sulindac is used in combination with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycoside antibiotics (for example, gentamicin) the blood levels of methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, presumably because the elimination of methotrexate or aminoglycosides from the body is reduced. This may lead to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
Individuals taking oral blood thinners or anticoagulants, for example, warfarin, (Coumadin), should avoid sulindac because sulindac also thins the blood, and excessive blood thinning may lead to bleeding.
Persons who consume more than three alcoholic beverages per day are at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking sulindac or other NSAIDs.
Is sulindac safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies of sulindac in pregnant women. Therefore, sulindac is not recommended during pregnancy.
It is not known whether sulindac is excreted in breast milk.
Sulindac (Clinoril) is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) used for the treatment of pain, fever, swelling, inflammation, and tenderness in the joints caused by rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, bursitis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, osteoarthritis. Side effects, warnings and precautions, drug interactions, and safety during pregnancy should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Related Disease Conditions
Bursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints,...
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also...
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing...
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within...
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....
Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition....
Bursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms...
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found in the joints that cushions them. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, most commonly...
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms include painful, stiff, and swollen joints,...
Still's disease (systemic-onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) is a disorder characterized by inflammation with high fever...
Reactive arthritis is a chronic, systemic rheumatic disease characterized by three conditions, including conjunctivitis, joint...
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Ulcers
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed medications for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Examples of...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Gout FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
- meloxicam (Mobic) Side Effects
- celecoxib (Celebrex)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever, and others)
- indomethacin, Indocin, Indocin-SR (Discontinued Brand in U.S.)
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- etodolac, Lodine (Discontinued)
- fenoprofen, Nalfon
- diflunisal, Dolobid
- tolmetin, Tolectin (Discontinued Brand)
- choline magnesium salicylate, Trilisate
- valdecoxib, Bextra
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
FDA Prescribing Information