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Treats pain and swelling.

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Prescription onlyLower-cost generic available

Our bottom line

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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What to expect when you take Indocin (Indomethacin)

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Takes about 30 minutes to start working and can last about 4 to 6 hours.
  • 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. Don't crush them.
  • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
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Side effects for Indocin (Indomethacin)

From clinical trials of Indocin / Mild to moderate acute pain (20 mg)  ( 371)

  • NauseaNausea34% for Indomethacin vs.36% for placebo
  • Post procedural edemaPost procedural edema26% for Indomethacin vs.32% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting12% for Indomethacin vs.11% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache11% for Indomethacin vs.11% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness10% for Indomethacin vs.17% for placebo
  • ConstipationConstipation6% for Indomethacin vs.5% for placebo
  • Post procedural hemorrhagePost procedural hemorrhage5% for Indomethacin vs.6% for placebo
  • ItchingItching4% for Indomethacin vs.0% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea2% for Indomethacin vs.1% for placebo
  • RashRash2% for Indomethacin vs.0% for placebo

Risks and Warnings for Indocin (Indomethacin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • History of cardiovascular disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Smoking

    Indocin (Indomethacin) can increase your chance of having blood clots, heart attack, or stroke. The risk can increase the longer you take it. Talk to your doctor about taking the lowest dose that works for you for the shortest time possible.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Indocin (Indomethacin)

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The FDA category for this medication is D. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take with food or milk to help prevent upset stomach.
  • always take with food
  • take with food
  • Make sure you take with food. I made the mistake of not and could not function at work.
Kidneys and liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • Not a good choice if you have kidney, liver, or stomach problems.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • Indocin (Indomethacin) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, talk to your doctor because you may need a different dose. (No dose adjustments are specified on the manufacturer's label.)