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Indomethacin (By mouth)

Indomethacin (in-doe-METH-a-sin)

Treats pain caused by arthritis, gout, bursitis, and tendonitis. This is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Brand Name(s):

Indocin, Indocin SR

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction (including asthma) to indomethacin, aspirin, or other pain and arthritis medicines, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Bextra®, Celebrex®, or Motrin®. Do not use this medicine right before or right after having a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), a type of heart surgery.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Long Acting Capsule, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you.
  • It is best to take this medicine with food, milk, or antacids (such as Maalox® or Mylanta®) so it does not upset your stomach.
  • Swallow the extended-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake well before using.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using aspirin, a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), or a steroid medicine (such as cortisone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone, or Orapred®). Tell your doctor if you are using methotrexate (Trexall®), probenecid (Benemid®), or a diuretic or "water pill" (such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ], torsemide, triamterene, Demadex®, Dyrenium®, or Lasix®).
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood pressure medicine, such as atenolol, candesartan, enalapril, irbesartan, lisinopril, losartan, metoprolol, olmesartan, propranolol, valsartan, Accupril®, Atacand®, Cozaar®, Hyzaar®, Lotrel®, Lopressor®, Toprol®, or Zestril®. Tell your doctor if you are using cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®), diflunisal (Dolobid®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), or lithium (Eskalith®).
  • Do not use any other NSAID medicine unless your doctor says it is okay. Some other NSAIDs are aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Celebrex®, Ecotrin®, Motrin®, or Voltaren®.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not use this medicine during the later part of a pregnancy unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have a history of ulcers or other stomach problems. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, anemia, aspirin-sensitive asthma, bleeding problems, eye or vision problems, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), or heart or circulation problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression, mental illness, epilepsy, or Parkinson's disease.
  • This medicine may raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. This is more likely in people who already have heart disease. People who use this medicine for a long time might also have a higher risk.
  • This medicine may cause bleeding in your stomach or intestines. These problems can happen without warning signs. This is more likely if you have had a stomach ulcer in the past, if you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, if you are over 60 years old, if you are in poor health, or if you are using certain other medicines (a steroid medicine or a blood thinner).
  • This medicine may cause a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash; itching; hoarseness; trouble breathing; trouble swallowing; or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur with this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; red skin lesions; severe acne or skin rash; sores or ulcers on the skin; or fever or chills while you are using this medicine.
  • Liver problems may occur while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you are having more than one of these symptoms: abdominal pain or tenderness; clay-colored stools; dark urine; decreased appetite; fever; headache; itching; loss of appetite; nausea and vomiting; skin rash; swelling of the feet or lower legs; unusual tiredness or weakness; or yellow eyes or skin.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty with reading, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).
  • This medicine may make you drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools.
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Chest pain or coughing up blood.
  • Cold sweats and bluish-colored skin.
  • Confusion, weakness, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or lips.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm or leg, or on one side of your body.
  • Pain in your lower leg (calf).
  • Problems with vision, speech, or walking.
  • Rapid weight gain.
  • Severe stomach pain.
  • Skin rash or blisters with fever.
  • Sudden or severe headache.
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Vomiting blood or something that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in your vision.
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or upset stomach.
  • Depression, or unusual sleepiness or fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mild nausea, gas, or stomach pain.
  • Ringing in your ears.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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