Common and Rare Reactions to Indomethacin

Common Side Effects

Indomethacin has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with thousands of people worldwide having been evaluated. In these studies, the side effects that occurred in a group of people taking the drug were documented and then compared to the side effects that occurred in another group of people taking a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients). As a result, it was possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common indomethacin side effects (occurring in more than 3 percent of people) included:
  • Headache
  • Heartburn or indigestion (dyspepsia)
  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Dizziness.
Other side effects, occurring in more than 1 percent of people, included:
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Constipation
  • Spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Rare Indomethacin Side Effects

During clinical studies, some side effects occurred rarely in people taking indomethacin (less than 1 percent). Because these side effects are so uncommon, it is difficult to tell whether they were actually caused by the medication or something else. These possible side effects of indomethacin include but are not limited to:
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Inflammation of the rectum (proctitis)  
  • Insomnia
  • Ulcer in the stomach or intestines (peptic ulcer)
  • Unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gas
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Mental confusion
  • Worsening of existing nervous system conditions, including epilepsy, depression, and Parkinson's disease
  • Weight gain (see Indocin and Weight Gain)
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Changes in vision from deposits in the cornea or problems with the retina
  • Swelling
  • Unexplained rash
  • Itching.
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Indomethacin Drug

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