Generic Name: sulindac, Oral tablet

Clinoril

All Brands

  • Clinoril
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for sulindac

Oral tablet
1

Sulindac is an oral medication used to treat different types of arthritis, shoulder pain, and ankylosing spondylitis.

2

Your dose will depend on your condition and your response to the medication. The dose is often 150–200 mg taken twice per day with food.

3

Use caution taking sulindac if you have a history of heart disease, risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, or a history of stomach bleeding.

4

Common side effects include stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, rash, dizziness, and headache.

5

Sulindac can cause ulcers and stomach bleeding. This can happen at any time during treatment and may not have symptoms. You’re at higher risk if you’re older than 65 years.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects. 

Heart events that can result in death. Sulindac isn’t recommended if you have heart disease or risks for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. It may increase your risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke, which may be fatal.

Sulindac shouldn’t be taken if you are having coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase if you take sulindac to treat pain before or after your surgery. 

Stomach problems that can result in death. Taking sulindac increases your risk of stomach bleeding, ulcers, or small holes in the lining of your digestive system, which can be deadly. These events may occur at any time and without any symptoms. You’re at a higher risk if you’re over the age of 65 years.

High blood pressure warning

Taking sulindac may cause you to develop high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure worse. Check your blood pressure level before you start taking sulindac and while you’re taking it.

Drug Features

Sulindac is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet. It’s also available in a generic version. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why It's Used

Sulindac is used to treat pain and redness, swelling, and inflammation from different types of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and short-term shoulder pain.

More Details

How It Works

Sulindac belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

More Details

Why It's Used

Sulindac is used to treat pain and redness, swelling, and inflammation from different types of arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and short-term shoulder pain.

It’s approved to treat:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • acute gout symptoms
  • acute shoulder pain

How It Works

Sulindac belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

It isn’t known how this medication works to decrease pain. It may help reduce swelling by lowering levels of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that usually causes inflammation.

SECTION 2 of 4

sulindac Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with sulindac include:

  • stomach pain

  • heartburn

  • nausea

  • diarrhea

  • constipation

  • rash

  • dizziness

  • headache

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist If they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • chest pain or heart attack. Symptoms of heart attack can include:

    • chest pain
    • chest tightness
    • sweating
    • shortness of breath
    • heartburn/indigestion
    • arm pain
    • fatigue
  • stroke. Symptoms may include:

    • weakness in one part or side of your body
    • slurred speech
  • high blood pressure

  • swelling in your arms and legs, hands and feet, face, or throat

  • stomach bleeding and ulcers. Symptoms may include:

    • vomiting blood
    • bloody stools
    • black and sticky stools
  • skin reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • rash
    • blisters
  • allergic reactions, such as itching
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
  • asthma attacks. Symptoms include:

    • shortness of breath
    • trouble breathing
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Sulindac doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

sulindac May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Sulindac may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol Interaction

Drinking alcohol while taking sulindac increases your risk of stomach bleeding or ulcer.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Examples are:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • diclofenac
  • indomethacin
  • meloxicam
  • ketorolac
  • ketoprofen

Sulindac is a NSAID. Combining it with other NSAIDs increases your risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Blood pressure drugs

These include:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • angiotensin receptor blockers

Sulindac may reduce the blood pressure-lowering effects of these drugs.

Anticoagulants, blood thinners
  • warfarin

Combining sulindac with blood thinners increases your risk of bleeding.

Bipolar disorder drug
  • lithium

Sulindac may increase the levels of lithium in your body, which can lead to toxic effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with high blood pressure

Sulindac may cause you to develop high blood pressure or make existing high blood pressure worse. Check your blood pressure before you start and while you take sulindac.

People with ulcers or stomach bleeding

This medication increases your risk of stomach bleeding if you have history of ulcers or stomach bleeding. 

People with heart disease

This medication may cause fluid retention, which is a problem with heart disease. Watch for symptoms of fluid retention while you take sulindac if you tend to retain water or you have heart failure.

People with asthma

You shouldn’t take sulindac if you have a history of asthma, hives, or allergic reaction after taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You may experience a similar reaction to this drug, which may be deadly.

Pregnant women

Sulindac is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Sulindac should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if sulindac is passes through breast milk. If it does and you breastfeed, your baby may be at risk of side effects of this drug.

You and your doctor may decide whether you’ll take sulindac or breastfeed.

For Seniors

If you’re older than 65 years, your body may process this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug doesn’t build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

For Children

The safety and effectiveness of sulindac in people younger than 18 years haven’t been established.

Allergies

Sulindac can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face or throat

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take sulindac (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Osteoarthritis

Brand: Clinoril

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 150 mg and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

150 mg taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Liver disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. This could cause drug levels to get too high. If you have liver disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Brand: Clinoril

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 150 mg and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

150 mg taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Liver disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. This could cause drug levels to get too high. If you have liver disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Ankylosing spondylitis

Brand: Clinoril

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 150 mg and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

150 mg taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Liver disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. This could cause drug levels to get too high. If you have liver disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Acute shoulder pain

Brand: Clinoril

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 150 mg and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 200 mg taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.
  • Therapy usually lasts 7–14 days.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Liver disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. This could cause drug levels to get too high. If you have liver disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Acute gouty arthritis

Brand: Clinoril

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 150 mg and 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 200 mg taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.
  • Therapy usually lasts 7–14 days.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Liver Disease: Liver disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. This could cause drug levels to get too high. If you have liver disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may make it more difficult to clear this drug from your body. If you have kidney disease, your daily dosage may be lowered.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Sulindac comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Stop or Miss Doses

If you stop taking sulindac, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, you may experience more pain caused by your condition.

If You Take Too Much

If you take too much sulindac, you may experience:

  • low blood pressure
  • low urine output
  • unconsciousness
  • coma

In rare cases, taking too much can be fatal. Get immediate medical attention if you take or think you’ve taken too much sulindac.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose and it’s more than a few hours until your next dose, take it as soon as you can. If it’s just a few hours until your next dose, skip the dose and take the next one at the usual time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in toxic side effects.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

You may be able to tell that this medication is working if you experience less pain.

Is This a Short-Term or Long-Term Drug?

How long you take sulindac depends on the condition you’re treating.

Sulindac is a short-term treatment when used for shoulder pain or gouty arthritis.

It may be a long-term treatment when used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or ankylosing spondylitis.

Important Considerations for Taking Sulindac
take with food Take this medication with food to reduce stomach irritation and damage
can crush tablet You can cut or crush this medication
storage Store this medication at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C) See Details
refillable prescription Prescription is refillable
luggage Travel See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
not usually stocked Call ahead and ask if your pharmacy carries the strength you need

Store this medication at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Don’t freeze it.

Keep it away from light and high temperatures.

Note: Keep your medications away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

If you take sulindac for a long period of time, your doctor may take blood tests periodically to monitor your kidneys and liver.

Your doctor may also monitor you for signs of stomach bleeding, including:

  • vomiting blood
  • bloody stools
  • black and sticky stools

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

Content developed in collaboration with Alicia Marr (UIC)

Medically reviewed by Philip Gregory, PharmD, MS, FACN on May 11, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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