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Indocin

Generic Name: indomethacin (in doe METH a sin)
Brand Name: Indocin, Indocin SR, Tivorbex

Medically reviewed on Sep 10, 2018

What is Indocin?

See also: Kevzara

Indocin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medicine works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Indocin is used to treat moderate to severe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis. This medicine is also used to treat shoulder pain caused by bursitis or tendinitis.

Extended-release Indocin (Indocin SR) should not be used to treat gouty arthritis.

Indocin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Indocin can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use Indocin just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Indocin may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults.

Before taking this medicine

Indocin can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Even people without heart disease or risk factors could have a stroke or heart attack while taking this medicine.

Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Indocin may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults.

You should not use Indocin if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

To make sure Indocin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Taking Indocin during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.

Indomethacin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

Indocin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 14 years old.

How should I take Indocin?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take Indocin in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Do not crush, chew, break, or open an extended-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

If you take Indocin for a long period of time, your doctor may want to check you on a regular basis to make sure this medicine is not causing harmful effects.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include vomiting, severe headache, dizziness, confusion, numbness, tingling, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Indocin?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin while you are taking Indocin.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medicine. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to Indocin. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.

Indocin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using Indocin and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • changes in your vision;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling or rapid weight gain;

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Indocin?

Ask your doctor before using Indocin if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Indocin if you are also using any of the following drugs:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with indomethacin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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