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Indomethacin

Why is this medication prescribed?

Indomethacin is used to relieve the pain, tenderness, inflammation (swelling), and stiffness caused by gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Indomethacin comes as a regular capsule, extended-release (long-acting) capsule, and a liquid to take by mouth and suppositories to be used rectally. Indomethacin capsules, liquid, and suppositories usually are taken two to four times a day; extended-release capsules are taken one or two times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take indomethacin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Extended-release capsules should be swallowed whole; do not open them to mix with food or beverages.

Shake the oral liquid well before each use.

To insert a suppository into the rectum, follow these steps:

  • Remove the wrapper.
  • Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
  • Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
  • Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch in infants and children and 1 inch in adults. Hold it in place for a few moments.
  • Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking indomethacin,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to indomethacin, aspirin or other medications for pain or arthritis, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, atenolol (Tenormin), carteolol (Cartrol), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), medications for arthritis or diabetes, methotrexate, metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), phenylpropanolamine, phenytoin (Dilantin), probenecid (Benemid), and vitamins.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, heart, or kidney disease; high blood pressure; any stomach problems; any other gastrointestinal disease; epilepsy; Parkinson's disease; depression; or mental illness.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking indomethacin, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking indomethacin.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Indomethacin may cause an upset stomach. Take indomethacin with food or milk.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from indomethacin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nervousness
  • upset stomach
  • stomach pain or cramps
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • bloody vomit
  • bloody diarrhea or black, tarry stools
  • ringing in the ears
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • skin rash
  • itching

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to indomethacin.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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