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In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 405 premature infants weighing less than or equal to 1750 g with evidence of large ductal shunting, in those neonates treated with indomethacin (n=206), there was a statistically significantly greater incidence of bleeding problems, including gross or microscopic bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract, oozing from the skin after needle stick, pulmonary hemorrhage, and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. There was no statistically significant difference between treatment groups with reference to intracranial hemorrhage.
The neonates treated with indomethacin for injection also had a significantly higher incidence of transient oliguria and elevations of serum creatinine (greater than or equal to 1.8 mg/dL) than did the neonates treated with placebo.
The incidences of retrolental fibroplasia (grades III and IV) and pneumothorax in neonates treated with INDOCIN I.V. were no greater than in placebo controls and were statistically significantly lower than in surgically-treated neonates.
The following additional adverse reactions in neonates have been reported from the collaborative study, anecdotal case reports, from other studies using rectal, oral, or intravenous indomethacin for treatment of patent ductus arteriosus or in marketed use. The rates are calculated from a database which contains experience of 849 indomethacin-treated neonates reported in the medical literature, regardless of the route of administration. One year follow-up is available on 175 neonates and shows no long-term sequelae which could be attributed to indomethacin. In controlled clinical studies, only electrolyte imbalance and renal dysfunction (of the reactions listed below) occurred statistically significantly more frequently after INDOCIN I.V. than after placebo. Reactions marked with a single asterisk (*) occurred in 3-9 percent of indomethacin-treated neonates; those marked with a double asterisk (**) occurred in 3-9 percent of both indomethacin-and placebo-treated neonates. Unmarked reactions occurred in less than 3 percent of neonates.
Renal: renal failure, renal dysfunction in 41 percent of neonates, including one or more of the following: reduced urinary output; reduced urine sodium, chloride, or potassium, urine osmolality, free water clearance, or glomerular filtration rate; elevated serum creatinine or BUN; uremia.
Cardiovascular: intracranial bleeding**, pulmonary hypertension.
Gastrointestinal: gastrointestinal bleeding*, vomiting, abdominal distention, transient ileus, gastric perforation, localized perforation(s) of the small and/or large intestine, necrotizing enterocolitis.
Metabolic: hyponatremia*, elevated serum potassium*, reduction in blood sugar, including hypoglycemia, increased weight gain (fluid retention).
The following adverse reactions have also been reported in neonates treated with indomethacin, however, a causal relationship to therapy with INDOCIN I.V. has not been established:
Respiratory: apnea, exacerbation of pre-existing pulmonary infection.
Hematologic: disseminated intravascular coagulation, thrombocytopenia.
Ophthalmic: retrolental fibroplasia.**
A variety of additional adverse experiences have been reported in adults treated with oral indomethacin for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, acute painful shoulder and acute gouty arthritis (see package insert for Capsules INDOCIN (indomethacin) for additional information concerning adverse reactions and other cautionary statements). Their relevance to the pre-term infant receiving indomethacin for patent ductus arteriosus is unknown, however, the possibility exists that these experiences may be associated with the use of INDOCIN I.V. in pre-term infants.
To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Lundbeck Inc. at 1-800-455-1141 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Read the Indocin IV (indomethacin inj) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Since renal function may be reduced by INDOCIN I.V., consideration should be given to reduction in dosage of those medications that rely on adequate renal function for their elimination. Because the half-life of digitalis (given frequently to pre-term infants with patent ductus arteriosus and associated cardiac failure) may be prolonged when given concomitantly with indomethacin, the neonate should be observed closely; frequent ECGs and serum digitalis levels may be required to prevent or detect digitalis toxicity early. Furthermore, in one study of premature infants treated with INDOCIN I.V. and also receiving either gentamicin or amikacin, both peak and trough levels of these aminoglycosides were significantly elevated.
Therapy with indomethacin may blunt the natriuretic effect of furosemide. This response has been attributed to inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In a study of 19 premature infants with patent ductus arteriosus treated with either INDOCIN I.V. alone or a combination of INDOCIN I.V. and furosemide, results showed that neonates receiving both INDOCIN I.V. and furosemide had significantly higher urinary output, higher levels of sodium and chloride excretion, and higher glomerular filtration rates than did those receiving INDOCIN I.V. alone. In this study, the data suggested that therapy with furosemide helped to maintain renal function in the premature infant when INDOCIN I.V. was added to the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus.
Indomethacin usually does not influence the hypoprothrombinemia produced by anticoagulants. When indomethacin is added to anticoagulants, prothrombin time should be monitored closely. In post marketing experience, bleeding has been reported in patients on concomitant treatment with anticoagulants and INDOCIN I.V. Caution should be exercised when INDOCIN I.V. and anticoagulants are administered concomitantly.
In some patients with compromised renal function, the co-administration of an NSAID and an ACE inhibitor or angiotensin II antagonist may result in further deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure, which is usually reversible.
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/11/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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