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Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Clinical trials of several COX-2 selective and nonselective NSAIDs of up to three years duration have shown an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. Based on available data, it is unclear that the risk for CV thrombotic events is similar for all NSAIDs. The relative increase in serious CV thrombotic events over baseline conferred by NSAID use appears to be similar in those with and without known CV disease or risk factors for CV disease. However, patients with known CV disease or risk factors had a higher absolute incidence of excess serious CV thrombotic events, due to their increased baseline rate. Some observational studies found that this increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events began as early as the first weeks of treatment. The increase in CV thrombotic risk has been observed most consistently at higher doses.
To minimize the potential risk for an adverse CV event in NSAID-treated patients, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration possible. Physicians and patients should remain alert for the development of such events, throughout the entire treatment course, even in the absence of previous CV symptoms. Patients should be informed about the symptoms of serious CV events and the steps to take if they occur.
There is no consistent evidence that concurrent use of aspirin mitigates the increased risk of serious CV thrombotic events associated with NSAID use. The concurrent use of aspirin and an NSAID, such as indomethacin, increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events [see Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, And Perforation].
Status Post Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Two large, controlled clinical trials of a COX-2 selective NSAID for the treatment of pain in the first 10–14 days following CABG surgery found an increased incidence of myocardial infarction and stroke. NSAIDs are contraindicated in the setting of CABG [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Observational studies conducted in the Danish National Registry have demonstrated that patients treated with NSAIDs in the post-MI period were at increased risk of reinfarction, CV-related death, and allcause mortality beginning in the first week of treatment. In this same cohort, the incidence of death in the first year post-MI was 20 per 100 person years in NSAID-treated patients compared to 12 per 100 person years in non-NSAID exposed patients. Although the absolute rate of death declined somewhat after the first year post-MI, the increased relative risk of death in NSAID users persisted over at least the next four years of follow-up.
Avoid the use of INDOCIN in patients with a recent MI unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of recurrent CV thrombotic events. If INDOCIN is used in patients with a recent MI, monitor patients for signs of cardiac ischemia.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, And Perforation
NSAIDs, including indomethacin, cause serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events including inflammation, bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or large intestine, which can be fatal. These serious adverse events can occur at any time, with or without warning symptoms, in patients treated with NSAIDs. Only one in five patients who develop a serious upper GI adverse event on NSAID therapy is symptomatic. Upper GI ulcers, gross bleeding, or perforation caused by NSAIDs occurred in approximately 1% of patients treated for 3-6 months, and in about 2%-4% of patients treated for one year. However, even short-term NSAID therapy is not without risk.
Risk Factors For GI Bleeding, Ulceration, And Perforation
Patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding who used NSAIDs had a greater than 10-fold increased risk for developing a GI bleed compared to patients without these risk factors. Other factors that increase the risk of GI bleeding in patients treated with NSAIDs include longer duration of NSAID therapy; concomitant use of oral corticosteroids, aspirin, anticoagulants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); smoking; use of alcohol; older age; and poor general health status. Most postmarketing reports of fatal GI events occurred in elderly or debilitated patients. Additionally, patients with advanced liver disease and/or coagulopathy are at increased risk for GI bleeding.
Strategies To Minimize The GI Risks In NSAID-treated patients:
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest possible duration.
- Avoid administration of more than one NSAID at a time.
- Avoid use in patients at higher risk unless benefits are expected to outweigh the increased risk of bleeding. For such patients, as well as those with active GI bleeding, consider alternate therapies other than NSAIDs.
- Remain alert for signs and symptoms of GI ulceration and bleeding during NSAID therapy.
- If a serious GI adverse event is suspected, promptly initiate evaluation and treatment, and discontinue INDOCIN until a serious GI adverse event is ruled out.
- In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, monitor patients more closely for evidence of GI bleeding [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Elevations of ALT or AST (three or more times the upper limit of normal [ULN]) have been reported in approximately 1% of NSAID-treated patients in clinical trials. In addition, rare, sometimes fatal, cases of severe hepatic injury, including fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported.
Elevations of ALT or AST (less than three times ULN) may occur in up to 15% of patients treated with NSAIDs including indomethacin.
Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, diarrhea, pruritus, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If clinical signs and symptoms consistent with liver disease develop, or if systemic manifestations occur (e.g., eosinophilia, rash, etc.), discontinue INDOCIN immediately, and perform a clinical evaluation of the patient.
NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, can lead to new onset of hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, either of which may contribute to the increased incidence of CV events. Patients taking angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics may have impaired response to these therapies when taking NSAIDs [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Monitor blood pressure (BP) during the initiation of NSAID treatment and throughout the course of therapy.
Heart Failure And Edema
The Coxib and traditional NSAID Trialists' Collaboration meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials demonstrated an approximately two-fold increase in hospitalizations for heart failure in COX-2 selective-treated patients and nonselective NSAID-treated patients compared to placebo-treated patients. In a Danish National Registry study of patients with heart failure, NSAID use increased the risk of MI, hospitalization for heart failure, and death.
Additionally, fluid retention and edema have been observed in some patients treated with NSAIDs. Use of indomethacin may blunt the CV effects of several therapeutic agents used to treat these medical conditions (e.g., diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Avoid the use of INDOCIN in patients with severe heart failure unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening heart failure. If INDOCIN is used in patients with severe heart failure, monitor patients for signs of worsening heart failure.
Renal Toxicity And Hyperkalemia
Long-term administration of NSAIDs has resulted in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.
Renal toxicity has also been seen in patients in whom renal prostaglandins have a compensatory role in the maintenance of renal perfusion. In these patients, administration of an NSAID may cause a dosedependent reduction in prostaglandin formation and, secondarily, in renal blood flow, which may precipitate overt renal decompensation. Patients at greatest risk of this reaction are those with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, liver dysfunction, those taking diuretics and ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and the elderly. Discontinuation of NSAID therapy is usually followed by recovery to the pretreatment state.
No information is available from controlled clinical studies regarding the use of INDOCIN in patients with advanced renal disease. The renal effects of INDOCIN may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in patients with preexisting renal disease.
Correct volume status in dehydrated or hypovolemic patients prior to initiating INDOCIN. Monitor renal function in patients with renal or hepatic impairment, heart failure, dehydration, or hypovolemia during use of INDOCIN [see DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Avoid the use of INDOCIN in patients with advanced renal disease unless the benefits are expected to outweigh the risk of worsening renal function. If INDOCIN is used in patients with advanced renal disease, monitor patients for signs of worsening renal function.
It has been reported that the addition of the potassium-sparing diuretic, triamterene, to a maintenance schedule of indomethacin resulted in reversible acute renal failure in two of four healthy volunteers. Indomethacin and triamterene should not be administered together.
Increases in serum potassium concentration, including hyperkalemia, have been reported with use of NSAIDs, even in some patients without renal impairment. In patients with normal renal function, these effects have been attributed to a hyporeninemic-hypoaldosteronism state.
Both Indomethacin and potassium-sparing diuretics may be associated with increased serum potassium levels. The potential effects of indomethacin and potassium-sparing diuretics on potassium levels and renal function should be considered when these agents are administered concurrently.
Indomethacin has been associated with anaphylactic reactions in patients with and without known hypersensitivity to indomethacin and in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and Exacerbation Of Asthma Related To Aspirin Sensitivity].
Seek emergency help if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.
Exacerbation Of Asthma Related To Aspirin Sensitivity
A subpopulation of patients with asthma may have aspirin-sensitive asthma which may include chronic rhinosinusitis complicated by nasal polyps; severe, potentially fatal bronchospasm; and/or intolerance to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Because cross-reactivity between aspirin and other NSAIDs has been reported in such aspirin-sensitive patients, INDOCIN is contraindicated in patients with this form of aspirin sensitivity [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. When INDOCIN is used in patients with preexisting asthma (without known aspirin sensitivity), monitor patients for changes in the signs and symptoms of asthma.
Serious Skin Reactions
NSAIDs, including indomethacin, can cause serious skin adverse reactions such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. These serious events may occur without warning. Inform patients about the signs and symptoms of serious skin reactions, and to discontinue the use of INDOCIN at the first appearance of skin rash or any other sign of hypersensitivity. INDOCIN is contraindicated in patients with previous serious skin reactions to NSAIDs [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Premature Closure Of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus
Indomethacin may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester) [see Use In Specific Populations].
Anemia has occurred in NSAID-treated patients. This may be due to occult or gross blood loss, fluid retention, or an incompletely described effect on erythropoiesis. If a patient treated with INDOCIN has any signs or symptoms of anemia, monitor hemoglobin or hematocrit.
NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, may increase the risk of bleeding events. Co-morbid conditions, such as coagulation disorders, or concomitant use of warfarin, other anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents (e.g., aspirin), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may increase this risk. Monitor these patients for signs of bleeding [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Masking Of Inflammation And Fever
The pharmacological activity of INDOCIN in reducing inflammation, and possibly fever, may diminish the utility of diagnostic signs in detecting infections.
Because serious GI bleeding, hepatotoxicity, and renal injury can occur without warning symptoms or signs, consider monitoring patients on long-term NSAID treatment with a CBC and a chemistry profile periodically [see Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, And Perforation, Hepatotoxicity and Renal Toxicity And Hyperkalemia].
Central Nervous System Effects
INDOCIN may aggravate depression or other psychiatric disturbances, epilepsy, and parkinsonism, and should be used with considerable caution in patients with these conditions. Discontinue INDOCIN if severe CNS adverse reactions develop.
INDOCIN may cause drowsiness; therefore, caution patients about engaging in activities requiring mental alertness and motor coordination, such as driving a car. Indomethacin may also cause headache. Headache which persists despite dosage reduction requires cessation of therapy with INDOCIN.
Corneal deposits and retinal disturbances, including those of the macula, have been observed in some patients who had received prolonged therapy with INDOCIN. Be alert to the possible association between the changes noted and INDOCIN. It is advisable to discontinue therapy if such changes are observed. Blurred vision may be a significant symptom and warrants a thorough ophthalmological examination. Since these changes may be asymptomatic, ophthalmologic examination at periodic intervals is desirable in patients receiving prolonged therapy. INDOCIN is not indicated for long-term treatment.
Patient Counseling Information
Advise the patient to read the FDA-approved patient labeling (Medication Guide) that accompanies each prescription dispensed. Inform patients, families, or their caregivers of the following information before initiating therapy with INDOCIN and periodically during the course of ongoing therapy.
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of cardiovascular thrombotic events, including chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or slurring of speech, and to report any of these symptoms to their health care provider immediately [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Gastrointestinal Bleeding, Ulceration, And Perforation
Advise patients to report symptoms of ulcerations and bleeding, including epigastric pain, dyspepsia, melena, and hematemesis to their health care provider. In the setting of concomitant use of low-dose aspirin for cardiac prophylaxis, inform patients of the increased risk for and the signs and symptoms of GI bleeding [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients of the warning signs and symptoms of hepatotoxicity (e.g., nausea, fatigue, lethargy, pruritus, diarrhea, jaundice, right upper quadrant tenderness, and “flu-like” symptoms). If these occur, instruct patients to stop INDOCIN and seek immediate medical therapy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Heart Failure And Edema
Advise patients to be alert for the symptoms of congestive heart failure including shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain, or edema and to contact their healthcare provider if such symptoms occur [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Inform patients of the signs of an anaphylactic reaction (e.g., difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat). Instruct patients to seek immediate emergency help if these occur [see CONTRAINDICATIONS and WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Serious Skin Reactions
Advise patients to stop INDOCIN immediately if they develop any type of rash and to contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Advise females of reproductive potential who desire pregnancy that NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, may be associated with a reversible delay in ovulation [see Use In Specific Populations].
Inform pregnant women to avoid use of INDOCIN and other NSAIDs starting at 30 weeks gestation because of the risk of the premature closing of the fetal ductus arteriosus [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and Use In Specific Populations].
Avoid Concomitant Use Of NSAIDs
Inform patients that the concomitant use of INDOCIN with other NSAIDs or salicylates (e.g., diflunisal, salsalate) is not recommended due to the increased risk of gastrointestinal toxicity, and little or no increase in efficacy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and DRUG INTERACTIONS]. Alert patients that NSAIDs may be present in “over the counter” medications for treatment of colds, fever, or insomnia.
Use Of NSAIDs And Low-Dose Aspirin
Inform patients not to use low-dose aspirin concomitantly with INDOCIN until they talk to their healthcare provider [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In an 81-week chronic oral toxicity study in the rat at doses up to 1 mg/kg/day (0.05 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis), indomethacin had no tumorigenic effect. Indomethacin produced no neoplastic or hyperplastic changes related to treatment in carcinogenic studies in the rat (dosing period 73 to 110 weeks) and the mouse (dosing period 62 to 88 weeks) at doses up to 1.5 mg/kg/day (0.04 times [mice] and 0.07 times [rats] the MRHD on a mg/m² basis, respectively).
Indomethacin did not have any mutagenic effect in in vitro bacterial tests and a series of in vivo tests including the host-mediated assay, sex-linked recessive lethals in Drosophila, and the micronucleus test in mice.
Impairment Of Fertility
Indomethacin at dosage levels up to 0.5 mg/kg/day had no effect on fertility in mice in a two generation reproduction study (0.01 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) or a two litter reproduction study in rats (0.02 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis).
Use In Specific Populations
Use of NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, during the third trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, in pregnant women starting at 30 weeks of gestation (third trimester).
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of INDOCIN in pregnant women.
Data from observational studies regarding potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive. In the general U.S. population, all clinically recognized pregnancies, regardless of drug exposure, have a background rate of 2-4% for major malformations, and 15-20% for pregnancy loss. In animal reproduction studies retarded fetal ossification was observed with administration of indomethacin to mice and rats during organogenesis at doses 0.1 and 0.2 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD, 200 mg (40 mL)). In published studies in pregnant mice, indomethacin produced maternal toxicity and death, increased fetal resorptions, and fetal malformations at 0.1 times the MRHD. When rat and mice dams were dosed during the last three days of gestation, indomethacin produced neuronal necrosis in the offspring at 0.1 and 0.05 times the MRHD, respectively [See Data]. Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as indomethacin, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss.
Labor or Delivery
There are no studies on the effects of INDOCIN during labor or delivery. In animal studies, NSAIDs, including indomethacin, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, cause delayed parturition, and increase the incidence of stillbirth.
Reproductive studies were conducted in mice and rats at dosages of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mg/kg/day. Except for retarded fetal ossification at 4 mg/kg/day (0.1 times [mice] and 0.2 times [rats] the MRHD on a mg/m² basis, respectively) considered secondary to the decreased average fetal weights, no increase in fetal malformations was observed as compared with control groups. Other studies in mice reported in the literature using higher doses (5 to 15 mg/kg/day, 0.1 to 0.4 times MRHD on a mg/m² basis) have described maternal toxicity and death, increased fetal resorptions, and fetal malformations.
In rats and mice, maternal indomethacin administration of 4.0 mg/kg/day (0.2 times and 0.1 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) during the last 3 days of gestation was associated with an increased incidence of neuronal necrosis in the diencephalon in the live-born fetuses however no increase in neuronal necrosis was observed at 2.0 mg/kg/day as compared to the control groups (0.1 times and 0.05 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis). Administration of 0.5 or 4.0 mg/kg/day to offspring during the first 3 days of life did not cause an increase in neuronal necrosis at either dose level.
Based on available published clinical data, indomethacin may be present in human milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother's clinical need for INDOCIN and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the INDOCIN or from the underlying maternal condition.
In one study, levels of indomethacin in breast milk were below the sensitivity of the assay (<20 mcg/L) in 11 of 15 women using doses ranging from 75 mg orally to 300 mg rectally daily (0.94 to 4.29 mg/kg daily) in the postpartum period. Based on these levels, the average concentration present in breast milk was estimated to be 0.27% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. In another study indomethacin levels were measured in breast milk of eight postpartum women using doses of 75 mg daily and the results were used to calculate an estimated infant daily dose. The estimated infant dose of indomethacin from breast milk was less than 30 mcg/day or 4.5 mcg/kg/day assuming breast milk intake of 150 mL/kg/day. This is 0.5% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage or about 3% of the neonatal dose for treatment of patent ductusarteriosus.
Females And Males Of Reproductive Potential
Based on the mechanism of action, the use of prostaglandin-mediated NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, may delay or prevent rupture of ovarian follicles, which has been associated with reversible infertility in some women. Published animal studies have shown that administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors has the potential to disrupt prostaglandin-mediated follicular rupture required for ovulation. Small studies in women treated with NSAIDs have also shown a reversible delay in ovulation. Consider withdrawal of NSAIDs, including INDOCIN, in women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility.
Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients 14 years of age and younger has not been established.
INDOCIN should not be prescribed for pediatric patients 14 years of age and younger unless toxicity or lack of efficacy associated with other drugs warrants the risk.
In experience with more than 900 pediatric patients reported in the literature or to the manufacturer who were treated with INDOCIN Capsules, side effects in pediatric patients were comparable to those reported in adults. Experience in pediatric patients has been confined to the use of INDOCIN Capsules.
If a decision is made to use indomethacin for pediatric patients two years of age or older, such patients should be monitored closely and periodic assessment of liver function is recommended. There have been cases of hepatotoxicity reported in pediatric patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, including fatalities. If indomethacin treatment is instituted, a suggested starting dose is 1-2 mg/kg/day given in divided doses. Maximum daily dosage should not exceed 3 mg/kg/day or 150-200 mg/day, whichever is less. Limited data are available to support the use of a maximum daily dosage of 4 mg/kg/day or 150- 200 mg/day, whichever is less. As symptoms subside, the total daily dosage should be reduced to the lowest level required to control symptoms, or the drug should be discontinued.
Elderly patients, compared to younger patients, are at greater risk for NSAID-associated serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and/or renal adverse reactions. If the anticipated benefit for the elderly patient outweighs these potential risks, start dosing at the low end of the dosing range, and monitor patients for adverse effects [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Indomethacin and its metabolites are known to be substantially excreted by the kidneys, and the risk of adverse reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, use caution in this patient population, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/11/2016
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