Generic name: Indomethacin.

Other brand names: Indocin SR.

Indocin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine. It works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which may trigger pain. 

Quick Facts About Indocin


Used to treat inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain associated with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Also used to treat bursitis, tendinitis, acute gouty arthritis, and other kinds of pain.

Indocin Dosage

Take with food or an antacid, and a full glass of water, not on an empty stomach. Take exactly as prescribed, and on a regular basis for arthritis. Shake liquid form well before using. Do not lie down for 1/2 hour after taking this medication; may lead to swallowing problems.

  • Usual adult dose: for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis — 25 milligrams taken 2 or 3 times per day, up to between 150 to 200 milligrams per day. Doctor may prescribe single 75-milligram dose per day of Indocin SR. in place of regular Indocin. For bursitis or tendinitis — 75 to 150 milligrams per day divided into 3 or 4 smaller doses, for I to 2 weeks. For acute gouty arthritis — 50 milligrams taken 3 times per day until pain is under control, usually 3 to 5 days. Seniors — dosage adjusted as needed. In all cases, doctor should prescribe lowest dose effective.
  • Usual child dose: not generally prescribed for children under 14 years.
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible, unless almost time for next dose. In that case, do not take missed dose; go back to regular schedule. Do not double doses.

Indocin Side Effects

Overdose symptoms:

convulsions, disorientation, dizziness, intense headache, lethargy, mental confusion, nausea and vomiting, numbness, tingling or pins and needles. If you suspect an overdose, immediately seek medical attention.

More common side effects: abdominal pain, constipation, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, headache, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, ringing in ears, sleepiness or excessive drowsiness, stomach pain, stomach upset, vertigo, vomiting.

Less common or rare Indocin side effects: anemia, anxiety, asthma, behavior disturbances, bloating, blurred vision, breast changes, changes in heart rate, chest pain, coma, congestive heart failure, convulsions, decrease in white blood cells, fever, fluid in lungs, fluid retention, flushing, gas, hair loss, hepatitis, high or low blood pressure, hives, itching, increase in blood sugar, insomnia, kidney failure, labored breathing, light-headedness, loss of appetite, mental confusion, muscle weakness, nosebleed, peptic ulcer, problems in hearing, rash, rectal bleeding, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (skin peeling), stomach or intestinal bleeding, unusual redness of skin, vaginal bleeding, weight gain, worsening of epilepsy, yellow eyes and skin.


Inform your doctor before combining Indocin with:

anticancer medication methotrexate; aspirin; beta-adrenergic blockers such as Tenormin; blood thinners such as Coumadin; captopril (Capoten); cyclosporine (Sandimmune); diflunisal (Dolobid); digoxin (Lanoxin); lithium (Eskalith); loop diuretics such as Lasix; potassium-sparing diuretics such as Aldactone; probenecid (Benemid); thiazide-type diuretics such as Diuril; triamterene with hydrochlorothiazide (Dyazide).

No known food/other substance interactions. 

Special Cautions

If pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Appears in breast milk, could affect a nursing infant.

Dosage adjusted as needed for seniors.

Not generally prescribed for children under 14 years.

  • Do not use suppositories with current or history of rectal bleeding.
  • May cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery. Do not take part in any activity that requires alertness.
  • Doctor should monitor frequently for internal bleeding or ulcers.
  • Should not take if sensitive to or allergic to Indocin, aspirin or similar medications, or if these medications have caused asthma attacks.
  • Be aware that Indocin prolongs bleeding time.
  • Use cautiously if you have kidney or liver disease.
  • May increase water retention if high blood pressure or heart disease is present.
  • Existing infections may be masked when taking Indocin.

Note: provides accurate and independent information prescription pills, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions about  dosage, or Indocin side effects, please contact your healthcare provider.