Jul 26, 2022

Generic name: indomethacin [ in-doe-METH-a-sin ]
Brand names: Indocin, Indocin SR, Tivorbex
Dosage forms: oral capsule (20 mg; 25 mg; 40 mg; 50 mg); oral capsule, extended release (75 mg); oral suspension (25 mg/5 mL)
Drug class:  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

What is indomethacin?

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

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

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

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


Indomethacin can increase your risk of fatal  heart attack  or stroke, even if you don’t have any risk factors. Do not use indomethacin just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

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

Before taking this medicine

Indomethacin 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).

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

You should not use indomethacin 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.

If you are pregnant, you should not take indomethacin unless your doctor tells you to. Taking an NSAID during the last 20 weeks of pregnancy can cause serious heart or kidney problems in the unborn baby and possible complications with your pregnancy.

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.

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

How should I take indomethacin?

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 indomethacin. 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.

Detailed Indomethacin dosage information

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 indomethacin?

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

Avoid taking aspirin unless your doctor tells you to.

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

Indomethacin 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 indomethacin and seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

Indomethacin may cause serious side effects. Stop using indomethacin 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 of indomethacin may include:

  • indigestion , nausea;
  • headache ; or
  • dizziness .

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.

Indomethacin side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect indomethacin?

Ask your doctor before using indomethacin 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 indomethacin with any other medications, especially:

  • cyclosporine ;
  • lithium ;
  • methotrexate ;
  • probenecid ;
  • heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or “water pill”;
  • a blood thinner– warfarin ,  Coumadin ,  Jantoven ; or
  • other  NSAIDs  ( nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs )–aspirin, ibuprofen ( Advil ,  Motrin ), naproxen ( Aleve ),  celecoxib ,  diclofenac ,  meloxicam , and others.

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

source ::