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Mechanism Of Action
Indomethacin is a potent inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis in vitro. Indomethacin concentrations reached during therapy have produced in vivo effects. Prostaglandins sensitize afferent nerves and potentiate the action of bradykinin in inducing pain in animal models. Prostaglandins are mediators of inflammation. Because indomethacin is an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis, its mode of action may be due to a decrease of prostaglandins in peripheral tissues.
Following single oral doses of INDOCIN Capsules 25 mg or 50 mg, indomethacin is readily absorbed, attaining peak plasma concentrations of about 1 and 2 mcg/mL, respectively, at about 2 hours. Orally administered INDOCIN Capsules are virtually 100% bioavailable, with 90% of the dose absorbed within 4 hours. A single 50 mg dose of INDOCIN Oral Suspension was found to be bioequivalent to a 50 mg INDOCIN Capsule when each was administered with food. With a typical therapeutic regimen of 25 or 50 mg three times a day, the steady-state plasma concentrations of indomethacin are an average 1.4 times those following the first dose.
Indomethacin is highly bound to protein in plasma (about 99%) over the expected range of therapeutic plasma concentrations. Indomethacin has been found to cross the blood-brain barrier and the placenta, and appears in breast milk.
Indomethacin exists in the plasma as the parent drug and its desmethyl, desbenzoyl, anddesmethyldesbenzoyl metabolites, all in the unconjugated form. Appreciable formation of glucuronide conjugates of each metabolite and of indomethacin are formed.
Indomethacin is eliminated via renal excretion, metabolism, and biliary excretion. Indomethacin undergoes appreciable enterohepatic circulation. About 60% of an oral dose is recovered in urine as drug and metabolites (26% as indomethacin and its glucuronide), and 33% is recovered in feces (1.5% as indomethacin). The mean half-life of indomethacin is estimated to be about 4.5 hours.
Pediatric: The pharmacokinetics of INDOCIN has not been investigated in pediatric patients.
Race: Pharmacokinetic differences due to race have not been identified.
Hepatic Impairment: The pharmacokinetics of INDOCIN has not been investigated in patients with hepatic impairment.
Renal Impairment: The pharmacokinetics of INDOCIN has not been investigated in patients with renal impairment [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Drug Interaction Studies
In a study in normal volunteers, it was found that chronic concurrent administration of 3.6 g of aspirin per day decreases indomethacin blood levels approximately 20% [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
When NSAIDs were administered with aspirin, the protein binding of NSAIDs were reduced, although the clearance of free NSAID was not altered. The clinical significance of this interaction is not known. See Table 2 for clinically significant drug interactions of NSAIDs with aspirin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In normal volunteers receiving indomethacin, the administration of diflunisal decreased the renal clearance and significantly increased the plasma levels of indomethacin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
INDOCIN affords relief of symptoms; it does not alter the progressive course of the underlying disease.
INDOCIN suppresses inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis as demonstrated by relief of pain, and reduction of fever, swelling and tenderness. Improvement in patients treated with INDOCIN for rheumatoid arthritis has been demonstrated by a reduction in joint swelling, average number of joints involved, and morning stiffness; by increased mobility as demonstrated by a decrease in walking time; and by improved functional capability as demonstrated by an increase in grip strength. INDOCIN may enable the reduction of steroid dosage in patients receiving steroids for the more severe forms of rheumatoid arthritis. In such instances the steroid dosage should be reduced slowly and the patients followed very closely for any possible adverse effects.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/11/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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