Indometacin helps relieve pain and inflammation. It is used to reduce swelling to provide relief of pain associated with joint disorders such as ankylosing spondylitis (inflammation in joints of the spine), rheumatoid arthritis (inflammation in joints of fingers, wrist, feet, or ankles), and osteoarthritis (joint pain and swelling due to bone damage or deterioration).
This medicine may also be used to treat pain due to gout (high uric acid level in the blood) and menstrual period.
Indometacin may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Indometacin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Take it together with food or immediately after a meal. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Your doctor may also give you some antacid tablets to be taken with Indometacin. Chew the antacid tablet before swallowing and take it at the same time as this medicine.
This medicine is available as a conventional or extended-release capsule.
If you are taking the extended-release type of capsule (usually labelled as "ER"), swallow it whole. Do not divide, chew or crush the capsule.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your condition.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
Do not take Indometacin if you ever had an allergic reaction (e.g. rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to this medicine or similar medicines such as naproxen or aspirin.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- severe heart disease
- recent or active stomach ulcer
- history of stomach bleeding or perforation that is related to previous use of NSAID (medicines for pain and inflammation)
- severe kidney disease
- severe liver disease
as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Do not take Indometacin if you are on your 3rd trimester of pregnancy, or planning to have a baby soon. If you become pregnant while being treated with this medicine, alert your doctor immediately. Indometacin may cause harm to your unborn child.
This medicine should not be used to treat pain in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft surgery (a procedure to improve and restore the blood flow in the heart).
Do not take Indometacin with diflunisal (another medicine for pain and inflammation).
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- mild to moderate heart disease
- mild to moderate kidney disease
- mild to moderate liver disease
- high blood pressure
- bleeding or blood clot disorder
- epilepsy (fits or seizures)
- mental illness e.g. depression
- Parkinson’s disease (a disorder that affects the movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
- systemic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation)
- infection or sepsis (severe infection)
- history of inflammatory bowel disease e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
- low volume of fluid around the cells of the body
Let your doctor know if you are on your 1st or 2nd trimester of pregnancy, or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Indometacin to the elderly. Elderly people may be more sensitive to the side effects.
If you are going to have an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medicine.
Avoid long-term use of any painkillers.
For as long as you are taking this medicine, you may need to have regular blood tests, liver and kidney function tests to check your body’s response to the medicine. You may also need to monitor your blood pressure before and during treatment.
If you are taking this medicine for a long period, you may need to have your eyes checked regularly.
Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Indometacin may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, headache, lightheadedness, muscle weakness, and ringing in the ears.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- difficulty breathing
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- pass blood or black tarry stool
- rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark coloured urine, tiredness, swelling in the legs and ankles
- unable to pass urine, changes in amount of urine passed, blood in urine, weight gain
- trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, vision changes
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Do not take Indometacin with diflunisal (medicine for pain and inflammation).
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for high blood pressure e.g. captopril, losartan, propranolol
- water pills or medicines for water retention e.g. furosemide
- digoxin (medicine for heart disease)
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin, methotrexate, tacrolimus
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin, aspirin
- anti-inflammatory medicines e.g. prednisolone
- medicines for mood disorder e.g. lithium, haloperidol
- probenecid (medicine for high uric acid in the blood)
- certain antibiotics e.g. ciprofloxacin
- tiludronic acid (medicine for bone disease)
- other NSAIDs (medicines for pain and inflammation)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Indometacin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.