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Tolectin Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 1/22/2016

Tolectin DS (tolmetin sodium) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by arthritis. The brand name Tolectin DS is discontinued, but generic versions may be available. Common side effects of Tolectin DS include upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nervousness, skin itching or rash, blurred vision, or ringing in your ears.

For the relief of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, the recommended starting dose of Tolectin DS for adults is 400 mg three times daily (1200 mg daily), preferably including a dose on arising and a dose at bedtime. Tolectin DS may interact with antidepressants, lithium, diuretics, methotrexate, steroids, blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, aspirin or other NSAIDs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Taking Tolectin DS during the last 3 months of pregnancy may result in birth defects. Do not take Tolectin DS during pregnancy unless your doctor has told you to. Tolmetin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Tolectin DS (tolmetin sodium) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Tolectin in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using tolmetin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness; or
  • fever, headache, neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, mild heartburn, diarrhea, constipation;
  • bloating, gas;
  • dizziness, headache, nervousness;
  • skin itching or rash;
  • blurred vision; or
  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Tolectin (Tolmetin Sodium)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Tolectin Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, heartburn, dizziness, drowsiness, diarrhea, and headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fainting, persistent/severe headache, fast/pounding heartbeat, hearing changes (e.g., ringing in the ears), mental/mood changes, stomach pain, difficult/painful swallowing, swelling of the ankles/feet/hands, sudden/unexplained weight gain, unusual tiredness.

Stop taking tolmetin and tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), unexplained stiff neck, change in the amount/color of urine, vision changes.

This drug may rarely cause serious, possibly fatal liver disease. If you notice any of the following rare but very serious side effects, stop taking tolmetin and consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately: persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, weakness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, stop taking tolmetin and immediately seek medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash/blisters, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Tolectin (Tolmetin Sodium)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Tolectin FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


The adverse reactions which have been observed in clinical trials encompass observations in about 4370 patients treated with TOLECTIN (tolmetin sodium), over 800 of whom have undergone at least one year of therapy. These adverse reactions, reported below by body system, are among those typical of nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs and, as expected, gastrointestinal complaints were most frequent. In clinical trials with TOLECTIN (tolmetin sodium) , about 10% of patients dropped out because of adverse reactions, mostly gastrointestinal in nature.

Incidence Greater Than 1%

The following adverse reactions which occurred more frequently than 1 in 100 were reported in controlled clinical trials.

Gastrointestinal: Nausea (11%), dyspepsia,* gastrointestinal distress,* abdominal pain,* diarrhea,* flatulence,* vomiting,* constipation, gastritis, and peptic ulcer. Forty percent of the ulcer patients had a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or were receiving concomitant anti- inflammatory drugs including corticosteroids, which are known to produce peptic ulceration.

Body as a Whole: Headache, * asthenia, * chest pain

Cardiovascular: Elevated blood pressure, * edema*

Central Nervous System: Dizziness, * drowsiness, depression

Metabolic/Nutritional: Weight gain, * weight loss*

Dermatologic:Skin irritation

Special Senses: Tinnitus, visual disturbance

Hematologic: Small and transient decreases in hemoglobin and hematocrit not associated with gastrointestinal bleeding have occurred. These are similar to changes reported with other nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs.

Urogenital: Elevated BUN, urinary tract infection

*Reactions occurring in 3% to 9% of patients treated with TOLECTIN (tolmetin sodium) . Reactions occurring in fewer than 3% of the patients are unmarked.

Incidence Less Than 1%

(Causal Relationship Probable)

The following adverse reactions were reported less frequently than 1 in 100 controlled clinical trials or were reported since marketing. The probability exists that there is a causal relationship between TOLECTIN (tolmetin sodium) and these adverse reactions.

Gastrointestinal: Gastrointestinal bleeding with or without evidence of peptic ulcer, perforation, glossitis, stomatitis, hepatitis, liver function abnormalities.

Body as a Whole: Anaphylactoid reactions, fever, lymphadenopathy, serum sickness

Hematologic: Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, granulocytopenia, agranulocytosis

Cardiovascular: Congestive heart failure in patients with marginal cardiac function.

Dermatologic: Urticaria, purpura, erythema multiforme, toxic epidermal necrolysis

Urogenital: Hematuria, proteinuria, dysuria, renal failure

Incidence Less Than 1%

(Causal Relationship Unknown)

Other adverse reactions were reported less frequently than 1 in 100 in controlled clinical trials or were reported since marketing, but a causal relationship between TOLECTIN (tolmetin sodium) and the reaction could not be determined. These rarely reported reactions are being listed as alerting information for the physician since the possibility of a causal relationship cannot be excluded.

Body as a Whole: Epistaxis

Special Senses: Optic neuropathy, retinal and macular changes

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Tolectin (Tolmetin Sodium)

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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