Compare Indocin vs. Allopurinol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Indocin
(indomethacin)

Zyloprim
(allopurinol)

Treats pain and swelling. Indocin (indomethacin) works well for mild to moderate pain and swelling, but it shouldn't be used long-term since it has some serious side effects.Lowers uric acid levels in blood, and prevents gout flare-ups. Zyloprim (allopurinol) works well to prevent gout attacks and is cheaper than some alternatives, but it takes a few weeks to start working.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.85Indocin
Reviews for Indocin
73%
of people (All ages) say Indocin is worth it
77%
say it works well
23%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Indocin (indomethacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Allopurinol
71%
+2% better vs. Indocin
52%
+25% better vs. Indocin
5%
-18% worse vs. Indocin
Have you used Zyloprim (allopurinol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Itchy skin 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Rash 2%
  • Upper stomach pain 1%
  • Sleepiness 1%
  • Indigestion 2%
More Indocin side effects »

The Allopurinol FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Allopurinol side effects »
How it works
IndocinAllopurinol
Indocin (indomethacin) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves swelling and pain.Zyloprim (allopurinol) is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. It lowers uric acid levels in your blood, which can stop gout attacks and kidney stones.
Type of medication
IndocinAllopurinol
Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
IndocinAllopurinol
Risk factors for serious side effects
IndocinAllopurinol
  • History of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 65 or older
Detailed Indocin (indomethacin) risks & warnings »
  • History of kidney stones
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Elderly
Detailed Zyloprim (allopurinol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
  • Take with food or milk to prevent an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Indocin (indomethacin) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your doctor because you might need a lower dose of Indocin (indomethacin), or your doctor might use a different medicine. Your doctor might have you do regular blood tests to make sure your kidneys and liver are healthy while you’re taking Indocin (indomethacin).
  • Not a good choice if you have kidney, liver, or stomach problems.
  • Kidney stones can form while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol), so you need to drink a lot of fluids to help prevent this.
Pain
IndocinAllopurinol
  • In studies, Indocin (indomethacin) was more effective than Tylenol for treating osteoarthritis pain.
No pain related info.
Sleep
IndocinAllopurinol
No sleep related info.
  • Taking Zyloprim (allopurinol) can make you feel sleepy or dizzy, especially if you're taking other medicines that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you. Get up very slowly from a seated or lying down position.
Upsides and benefits
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Effective option to relieve mild to moderate pain and swelling.
  • Treats inflammation problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and acute gout attacks.
  • In studies, Indocin (indomethacin) was more effective than Tylenol for treating osteoarthritis pain.
  • It works as well as Celebrex for treating an acute gout attacks.
  • Available in capsules, long-acting capsules, suppositories, and as a suspension. All forms, except the suspension, are available as generic medications.
  • Zyloprim (allopurinol) works well to lower uric acid in the body.
  • It is available as a generic medication.
Downsides and risks
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Indocin (indomethacin) can cause serious heart and stomach problems. The risk goes up the longer you take it, but problems can happen at any time. Don't take Indocin (indomethacin) any longer than your doctor recommends.
  • Indocin (indomethacin) raises your risk of bleeding, especially when taken with other blood-thinning medicines.
  • There are similar medicines that you don't have to take as often and can work just as well.
  • Not a good choice if you have kidney, liver, or stomach problems.
  • Zyloprim (allopurinol) can raise the number of gout attacks in the first few weeks.
  • It can take 2 to 6 weeks to feel the full effects of Zyloprim (allopurinol).
  • Kidney stones can form while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol), so you need to drink a lot of fluids to help prevent this.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
IndocinAllopurinol
  • Takes about 30 minutes to start working.
  • Can cause stomach ulcers or bleeding. Don't take it with other blood-thinning medicines without talking to your doctor first.
  • Can cause headaches. If the headaches continue even after you take a lower dose, talk to your doctor about stopping Indocin (indomethacin).
  • The long-acting capsules must be swallowed whole. If you have trouble swallowing, there's a liquid available.
  • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
  • Drink plenty of water while taking Zyloprim (allopurinol).
  • Take with food or milk to prevent an upset stomach.
  • It takes at least 2 to 6 weeks to experience the full benefit of this medicine.
  • Your doctor can run blood tests to make sure the medication is working as it should.
  • During the first few weeks of starting this, you may need to be on a second anti-gout medicine to prevent flare-ups because Zyloprim (allopurinol) can cause gout attacks when you first start it.
  • If you're taking this because you have cancer, your doctor might have to change the doses of some of your chemotherapy drugs.
Learn more
More about IndocinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Indocin (indomethacin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about AllopurinolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zyloprim (allopurinol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it