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Indomethacin is used to relieve pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritis, gout, bursitis, and tendonitis. Reducing these symptoms helps you do more of your normal daily activities. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. 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.
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using indomethacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times a day with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters). Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. If stomach upset occurs while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight. To reduce your risk of stomach bleeding and other side effects, take this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking this medication as directed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist.
In certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to 4 weeks when this drug is taken regularly before you notice the full benefits.
If you are taking this drug on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
Before taking indomethacin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin or other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen, celecoxib); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), bleeding or clotting problems, growths in the nose (nasal polyps), heart disease (such as previous heart attack), high blood pressure, liver disease, stomach/intestinal/esophagus problems (such as bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), stroke.
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including indomethacin. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have a change in the amount of urine.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
This medicine may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with this medicine, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This medication may make you more sensitive to the sun. Limit your time in the sun. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps. Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. Tell your doctor right away if you get sunburned or have skin blisters/redness.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially stomach/intestinal bleeding, kidney problems, and mental/mood changes.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially serious liver problems. Caution is advised when this drug is used in children. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor.
Before using this medication, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage, trouble getting pregnant). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.
This drug passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
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:
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.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with food and with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Long-term, continuous use may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 15 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Elderly patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.