Indometacin is a type of medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), commonly used for pain relief.
At Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), we prescribe indometacin for some conditions affecting the kidneys, including nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, cystinosis and Bartters syndrome.
Indometacin suspension is not available in the UK so has to be imported from abroad. It is also unlicensed for use in children. You can be assured that your doctor has only prescribed an unlicensed medicine because they think that the medicine will benefit your child, and because no licensed alternative is available.
How is indometacin given?
Indometacin is available in a variety of forms, but at GOSH we prescribe it as a liquid suspension under the brand name Indo-paed®.
The strength of the suspension is 25mg/5ml, that is, every 5ml of the suspension contains a dose of 25mg. The dose to give your child is worked out according to their weight and will be clearly written on the medicine label.
Who should not take indometacin?
People with the following conditions should discuss taking indometacin with their doctor:
hypersensitivity to indometacin or its ingredients
previous allergic or anaphylactic reaction to NSAIDs
stomach problems, such as ulcers or bleeding
pregnant, could be pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
What are the side effects of indometacin?
Headache and dizziness.
Abdominal (tummy) pain, vomiting and/or diarrhoea – If your child develops tummy pain, please tell your doctor. Rarely, indometacin can cause stomach ulcers, which can cause bleeding, showing up in vomit or faeces (poo). If your child has bad tummy pain or any bleeding, please contact your doctor immediately.
Allergic reaction – Some people develop an allergic reaction to indometacin, which may be mild or severe. If your child shows any signs of a mild allergic reaction, please contact your doctor. If your child has any difficulty breathing, please call an ambulance immediately.
Indometacin and other medicines
Some medicines can react with indometacin, altering how well it works. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving your child any other medicines, including herbal or complementary medicines.
The following are known to react with indometacin:
Please discuss this with your doctor, as your child may need regular monitoring if taking any of the above medicines with indometacin.
Important information about indometacin
Keep medicines in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
Indometacin suspension should be kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight or heat. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
If your doctor decides to stop treatment with indometacin, return any unused suspension to the pharmacist. Do not flush it down the toilet or throw it away.
If your child vomits after the dose, do not give them another dose.
If you forget to give your child a dose and it is within a few hours of when the dose was due, give it as soon as you remember. Otherwise, do not give this dose but take the next dose when it is due. Do not give a double dose.
Last reviewed by Great Ormond Street Hospital: April 2012
Ref: 2012F0346 April 2012
Compiled by the Pharmacy department in collaboration with the Child and Family Information Group
Please read this information in conjunction with any patient information leaflet provided by the manufacturer. However, please note that this information explains about the use of medicines in children and young people so may differ from the manufacturer’s information.
Each person reacts differently to medicines so your child will not necessarily suffer every side effect mentioned. This information does not constitute health or medical advice and will not necessarily reflect treatment at other hospitals. If you have any questions, please ask your doctor. No liability can be taken as a result of using this information.