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Indocin

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

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Apr 17, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Indocin?

Indocin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

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, even if you don't have any risk factors. 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, even if you don't have any risk factors. 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.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;

  • fluid retention;

  • bleeding problems;

  • stomach ulcers or bleeding;

  • asthma;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • if you smoke.

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.

This medicine may temporarily affect fertility (ability to have children) in women.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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 and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Swallow the extended-release capsule whole and do not crush, chew, break, or open it.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of Indocin. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use this medicine. You may need to stop for a short time.

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 medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, stomach pain, or vomiting.

What should I avoid while taking Indocin?

Avoid alcohol. Heavy drinking can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin while you are taking Indocin.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to Indocin (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

Indocin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

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, leg swelling, feeling short of breath.

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

  • a skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • changes in your vision;

  • heart problems--swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • signs of liver or pancreas problems--loss of appetite, upper stomach pain (that may spread to your back), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual tiredness, itching, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

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

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

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

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. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using Indocin with any other medications, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Indocin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

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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