Diseases

Indomethacin

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The active substance indomethacin is a painkiller (analgesic) from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is mainly used for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, but also for pain, swelling and inflammation of other causes. Here you can read everything worth knowing about the effect and use of indomethacin, side effects and interactions.

ArtikelübersichtIndometacin
  • operation
  • application areas
  • Proper application
  • side effects
  • Important instructions
  • tax provisions
  • history

This is how Indomethacin works

The active ingredient indomethacin inhibits the production of certain tissue hormones (prostaglandins) in the body. These mediate a variety of effects in the human body: prostaglandins stimulate inflammatory reactions, cause tissue swelling, locally increase blood circulation, increase pain stimuli, stimulate the uterine muscles to contract (labor support), constrict the bronchi in the lungs and trigger fever.

If the formation of these tissue hormones is inhibited, these reactions no longer take place or only weakened. This explains the effects of indomethacin on inflammation, pain and swelling.

Absorption, breakdown and excretion of indomethacin

After taking Indomethacin is rapidly and completely absorbed through the intestinal mucosa into the blood and reached there after half an hour or two the highest levels. Thereafter, half of the drug is excreted over about two hours. It is partially converted in the liver to make it more water soluble, then about two-thirds are excreted in the urine, one-third in the stool.

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When is indomethacin used?

The analgesic Indomethacin is used against:

  • chronic inflammation, pain and swelling (such as in rheumatoid arthritis)

In the past, the drug was also used for labor inhibition, but now available for more reliable means.

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This is how indomethacin is applied

The indomethacin dosage to be taken is chosen depending on the severity of the disease. The usual dosages are 50 to 150 milligrams per day, divided into one to three single doses. The maximum daily dose, which is reserved for very severe cases, is 200 milligrams. The intake takes place with a glass of water for a meal.

The active ingredient is not only for oral use, but also in the form of suppositories and eye drops and as a pain gel and pain spray. The pain gel is applied two to four times daily, the pain spray three to five times daily. The eye drops are used four to six times a day.

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What are the side effects of indomethacin?

Indomethacin-related side effects such as headache, drowsiness, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract occur in more than one in ten subjects.

In addition, one in ten to one hundred people will experience hypersensitivity reactions (such as itchy skin and rash), depression, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, tinnitus, indigestion, abdominal cramping and pain, peptic ulcer or elevation of liver enzyme levels.

To prevent gastrointestinal discomfort with prolonged intake of indomethacin, a so-called "stomach protection" can be taken after medical consultation. For example, proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole or prostaglandin analogs such as misoprostol are suitable as such.

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