Indomethacin: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage

Indomethacin Belongs to a group of medicines referred to as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). The federal agency first approved it in January 1965.

Indomethacin Uses

  • It is effective in the treatment of gout and ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Effective in the pain of pleurisy and pericarditis.
  • Intravenous administration is effective in the patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants. This causes the closure of the ductus that’s kept open by prostaglandins.
  • It also can be employed in the prevention of uterine contractions in premature labor by inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins. It’s harmful to both the mother and fetus.


It is a potent inhibitor of cyclooxygenase enzyme. Once given orally, it is well absorbed from the GIT, metabolized in the liver and excreted in bile and urine.

Indomethacin Mechanism Of Action:

It works by reducing the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that the body produces and that cause fever and pain that are related to inflammation. Indomethacin blocks the enzymes that build prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase 1 and 2) and thereby reduces the degree of prostaglandins. As a result, fever, pain and inflammation are reduced.

Indomethacin side Effects

  • Headache, mental confusion, depression and, in severe cases, mental illness could occur.
  • Gastrointestinal irritation, Diarrhea, bleeding, abdominal pain, and pancreatitis may occur.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions like skin rashes,
  • Hypokalemia
  • Rarely, thrombocytopenia and aplastic anemia could occur.


Indomethacin is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to other NSAIDs. It’s also contraindicated in patients with active gastrointestinal bleeding. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or health care provider your medical record, particularly of asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin alternative NSAIDs), bleeding or clotting issues, 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.

Dosage Information:

  • The suggested adult dose of standard-release indomethacin for treating inflammation or rheumatoid disorders is 50-200 mg per day, split into 2-3 doses.
  • The dose for extended-release indomethacin is 75-150 mg divided into two daily doses.
  • Bursitis or tendonitis is treated with a complete dose of 75-150 mg daily of standard-release indomethacin divided into three or four doses or 75-150 mg daily of extended-release divided into two doses.
  • Acute gouty arthritis is treated with 50 mg every eight hours for three to five days.
  • It should be taken with food and 8-12 ounces of water so as to cut back abdominal discomfort.

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