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Indocin or generic Indomethacin is a prescription strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that may be prescribed to treat mild to moderate pain and swelling due to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, and soft tissue injuries. These conditions are known for the painful inflammation they create, and may even lead to immobility or physical deformity if left untreated. They also manifest with other uncomfortable symptoms that include numbness, tingling, and stiffness, especially after sleeping or prolonged sitting. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Indocin works by slowing down the prostaglandin production in your body. Prostaglandins are produced by the body in response to injury and certain diseases and conditions, and cause pain, swelling and inflammation. Indomethacin blocks the production of these prostaglandins and is therefore effective at reducing inflammation and pain. Indocin cannot cure these conditions, but it should help by blocking the hormones responsible for their effect on your body.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body's immune system fails to recognize its own tissue, and views it as a foreign invader. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition. Common early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling, and stiffness of the joints. Later, symptoms may include joint deformity and loss of joint movement. As it progresses, it further damages the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone in your joints. It may also damage other areas of the body, including the lungs or blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious, usually progressive disease that can lead to severe disability, reduced quality of life, and shorter lifespan.
Indocin may also be prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation following orthopedic surgery or to treat dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual period.
Your doctor will need to know whether you have a history of cardiovascular, kidney, or liver disease before you start taking Indocin. Ask about the safety of taking Indocin if you are pregnant or breast feeding. You should not take Indocin if you have recently undergone heart bypass surgery, or if are planning to do so in the near future. Advise your doctor if you have ever experienced seizures, stomach ulcers, or asthma symptoms and list any OTC and Rx meds you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and vitamin or dietary supplements. This will help to determine if Indocin is the right drug for your situation.
Be on the lookout for signs of stomach and intestinal bleeding during treatment with Indocin; this includes black or bloody stools and coughing up materials that look like coffee grounds, and should be reported immediately. Some adverse side effects may occur if you take NSAIDs long-term so talk to your doctor about a maintenance dosage for conditions that are chronic.