Indomethacin (Indocin®) is an analgesic. It is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. These are commonly referred to as NSAIDS. Other NSAIDS are also used as analgesics. Indomethacin can be used as a pain reliever or analgesic. It can also be used as a treatment for arthritis, fever or other conditions where inflammation plays a role in creating the symptoms.
Unlike steroids, the side effects with indomethacin are not as likely to be common or severe. The most common side effects include stomach upset, dizziness, diarrhea and tiredness. It may cause or worsen stomach ulcers. It can have effects on kidney and liver function when used chronically.
Some headaches such as episodic and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania are exclusively responsive to indomethacin. It is the medication of first choice in these types of headache. Indomethacin may also be helpful in headache related to physical stress or exertional headache. It has been shown to be effective in migraine both for prevention of migraine as well as treating the acute migraine attack.
Indomethacin is available in immediate or sustained-release (SR) pill form and can be compounded by certain pharmacies as a rectal suppository.