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What is Indometacin?
Indometacin is used to relieve pain, swelling, and joint stiffness caused by arthritis, gout, bursitis, and tendonitis. It is also used to relieve pain from various other conditions. Indometacin is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by blocking your body's production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This effect helps to decrease swelling and pain.
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. See also Warning section.
Indometacin may also be used to relieve pain caused by inflammation of the pouch surrounding the heart and other conditions, as prescribed by your doctor.
How to use Indometacin
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using Indometacin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take Indometacin 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 Indometacin. If stomach upset occurs while taking Indometacin, 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 Indometacin at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Do not increase your dose or use Indometacin more often or for longer than prescribed. For ongoing conditions such as arthritis, continue taking Indometacin 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 Indometacin is taken regularly before you notice the full benefits.
If you are taking Indometacin 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.
Indometacin Side Effects
Upset stomach, heartburn, headache, drowsiness, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Indometacin because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Indometacin do not have serious side effects.
Indometacin may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: swelling of the hands or feet (edema), sudden or unexplained weight gain, hearing changes (such as ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, difficult/painful swallowing, unusual tiredness.
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: change in the amount of urine, unexplained stiff neck.
Indometacin may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to Indometacin is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking Indometacin, 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. Indometacin may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using Indometacin, 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 Indometacin. 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 any unusual change in the amount of urine.
Indometacin may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Indometacin may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with Indometacin, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and stop smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Indometacin may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths or sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Caution is advised when using Indometacin in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its side effects, especially stomach bleeding and kidney problems.
Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of Indometacin, especially serious liver problems. Caution is advised when Indometacin is used in children. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor.
Before using Indometacin, 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, Indometacin 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.
Indometacin passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with Indometacin include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as valsartan, losartan), cidofovir, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), lithium, methotrexate, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).
Indometacin may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as celecoxib, diflunisal, ibuprofen, or ketorolac). These drugs are similar to Indometacin and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Indometacin can affect the results of certain lab tests. Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use Indometacin.