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Last reviewed on RxList: 2/11/2008
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.

Tolectin Consumer Information

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)

Tolectin Professional Information


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)

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