Common uses of indomethacin include treating shoulder pain and relieving symptoms of conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Indomethacin is also used to treat symptoms of gout. "Off-label" uses include such things as the treatment of mild to moderate pain, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, and pain or inflammation caused by other conditions.
Indomethacin (Indocin®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions that cause pain, fever, inflammation, swelling, stiffness, or a combination of these.
Specific uses of this drug include the relief of:
- Osteoarthritis symptoms
- Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
- Symptoms with ankylosing spondylitis
- Gout symptoms
- Shoulder pain, including pain caused by tendinitis or bursitis.
Indomethacin is not a cure for the types of arthritis listed above; it does not slow the progression of arthritis.
Indomethacin and other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are thought to work by inhibiting the action of certain hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. These hormones are called prostaglandins. It is believed that blocking the effects of prostaglandins is what makes indomethacin able to help alleviate pain, inflammation, and joint swelling associated with different forms of arthritis.
Doctors do not generally recommend indomethacin for children under the age of 14.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend indomethacin for something other than the conditions discussed above. This is called an "off-label" use. Some examples of off-label indomethacin uses include the relief of:
- Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH)
- Juvenile arthritis symptoms
- Mild to moderate pain, such as lower back pain, neck pain, or leg pain
- Fibromyalgia symptoms
- Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms
- Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE for short, or lupus)
- Pain or inflammation caused by other conditions.