Generic Name: tolmetin, Oral tablet

Tolectin

All Brands

  • Tolectin
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for tolmetin

Oral tablet
1

Tolmetin is an oral medication used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

2

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset and pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas, indigestion, and dizziness.

3

Use tolmetin cautiously 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

This medication increases risk of stomach problems, such as bleeding, ulcers, and small holes in stomach lining. This risk is higher in people over the age of 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 risks that can be fatal. Tolmetin may increase your risk of blood clot, heart attack, or stroke, which may be deadly. Your risk may be greater if you use the drug for a long time or if you already have heart problems.

Tolmetin shouldn’t be used for pain before or after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. It may increase your risk for heart attack or stroke.

Stomach problems that can be fatal. Tolmetin may increase your chances of stomach problems. These include bleeding, ulcers, or small holes in the lining of your stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. You may have an increased risk for severe stomach issues if you’re older than 65 years.

May damage your liver

You may take a blood test to check your liver function to make sure it’s safe for you to take this drug. Reduced liver function may increase your risk of liver damage.

May cause kidney damage

If you use tolmetin for a long time, it may damage your kidneys. If you already have serious kidney problems, you shouldn’t use tolmetin. People with existing kidney problems, people with liver problems, and older adults are more likely to experience this effect.

Aspirin-sensitive asthma

If you have asthma, tolmetin may cause narrowing of your airway, which could be fatal. If your asthma gets worse while taking tolmetin, get medical help. If you have asthma and have had difficulties breathing while taking aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you shouldn’t take tolmetin at all.

Drug Features

Tolmetin is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral capsule or 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

Tolmetin is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. It helps reduce pain and inflammation in your joints.

How It Works

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

More Details

How It Works

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

NSAIDs may help decrease swelling by lowering levels of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that usually causes inflammation.

SECTION 2 of 4

tolmetin Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with tolmetin include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • heartburn

  • stomach pain

  • diarrhea

  • constipation

  • gas

  • dizziness

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.

  • heart attack or stroke. Symptoms may include:

    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • weakness on one side of your body
    • slurred speech
  • heart failure. Symptoms may include:

    • unusual weight gain
    • swelling in your arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • liver problems. Symptoms may include:

    • nausea
    • tiredness
    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
    • pain on the upper right side of your stomach
    • itching
    • fatigue
  • stomach problems, such as ulcers or bleeding. Symptoms may include:

    • stomach pain or upset stomach
    • black, tarry stools
    • vomiting blood
  • skin reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • rash
    • blisters
    • itching
  • allergic reactions or asthma attack. Symptoms may include:

    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face or throat
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Tolmetin 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

tolmetin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Tolmetin can 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.

Food Interactions

Your body may absorb less tolmetin if you take it with milk or immediately after a meal. This means that the medication may not be as effective.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Examples are:

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

Combining any of these drugs may lead to greater side effects.

Anticoagulant, blood thinner
  • warfarin

Taking tolmetin and warfarin together may increase your risk of bleeding.

Blood pressure drugs

These include:

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
  • diuretics

Taking tolmetin may decrease the blood pressure-lowering effects of these drugs.

Bipolar disorder drug
  • lithium

Taking tolmetin and lithium together may lead to higher levels of lithium in your body. Your doctor may monitor for signs of lithium poisoning. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, or confusion.

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

Tolmetin may cause you to develop high blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure, tolmetin may make it worse or increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.

People with heart failure

If you have heart problems, such as heart failure, you may experience swelling of your legs, feet, hands, or arms while taking tolmetin. Use this medication with caution if you have heart failure or fluid retention and swelling.

People with stomach ulcers or bleeding

If you’ve had an ulcer or stomach bleeding, you may be more likely to experience stomach bleeding. Call your doctor right away if you have severe heartburn or burning pain in your stomach area, nausea or vomiting, or black and tar-colored stools.

People with kidney disease

If you use tolmetin for a long time, it may damage your kidneys. If you already have serious kidney problems, you shouldn’t use tolmetin.

People with asthma

If you have asthma, tolmetin may cause narrowing of your airways, which could be fatal. If your asthma gets worse, seek medical attention. If you have asthma and have had trouble breathing while on aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you shouldn’t take tolmetin at all.

Pregnant women

Tolmetin 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.

You shouldn’t use tolmetin in the third trimester of pregnancy. It may affect the fetus’s heart.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Women who are nursing

This medication might pass through breast milk. If it does and you breastfeed, it may cause side effects in your child.

Talk to your doctor to decide whether you should breastfeed or take this medication.

For Seniors

Be careful when using tolmetin if you’re 65 years or older. Your body may have difficulty clearing this drug, which increases your risk of side effects.

For Children

It isn’t known if tolmetin is safe to use for children younger than 2 years.

Allergies

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

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face or throat
  • hives

Do not take tolmetin if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Don’t take it if you’ve experienced asthma or allergic reactions after taking other NSAIDs. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take tolmetin (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

Generic only

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 400 mg
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 400 mg taken three times per day.
  • Take the first dose when you wake up. Take the second dose halfway between the time you wake up and the time you go to bed. Take the third dose when you go to bed.
  • Doses higher than 1,800 mg per day haven’t been studied and shouldn’t be used.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

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

Rheumatoid arthritis

Generic only

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 400 mg
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 200 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 400 mg taken three times per day.
  • Take the first dose when you wake up. Take the second dose halfway between the time you wake up and the time you go to bed. Take the third dose when you go to bed.
  • Doses higher than 1,800 mg per day haven’t been studied and shouldn’t be used.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Generic only

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 400 mg
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 200 mg
Child Dosage (ages 2-17 years)
  • The dose depends on how much your child weighs.
  • The usual dose is 20 mg/kg of body weight per day. This amount is taken in three or four evenly divided and evenly spaced doses.
  • Doses higher than 30 mg/kg per day haven’t been studied and shouldn’t be used.
Child Dosage (ages 0-23 months)

Dosage for children younger than 2 years hasn’t been established.

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

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

If You Don’t Take It at All

Arthritis can cause severe pain and affect other organs in your body if left untreated. Tolmetin may help reduce the pain and help improve your ability to perform daily tasks.

If You Stop or Miss Doses

It’s important to continue taking your medication as directed by your doctor, even if you feel better. If you stop taking tolmetin, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, you may experience more pain.

If You Take Too Much

If you take or think you’ve taken too much tolmetin, get emergency medical help. You may have to vomit or have your stomach pumped to avoid toxic side effects from the overdose.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If it’s more than a few hours until your next dose, take your dose as soon as you can. If it’s just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on schedule.

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 tolmetin is working if you:

  • have less joint pain
  • have less inflammation
  • are able to perform your daily tasks more comfortably

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

Tolmetin may be used for short-term or long-term treatment. You should take tolmetin at the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time.

For best absorption, avoid taking tolmetin with milk or immediately after eating

However, if you find that taking the drug upsets your stomach, you can take it with food with a full glass of water.

Don’t cut or crush the oral tablet if it has a film coating

If the tablet has a score mark (indented line), you can cut it along the line.

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

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 this 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

Your doctor may:

  • do blood tests to check for possible bleeding
  • check your liver to make sure tolmetin isn’t damaging it and that the drug is still safe for you
  • check your kidneys to make sure tolmetin isn’t damaging it and that the drug is still safe for you

Insurance

Many insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for tolmetin.

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.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with Nerissa Caballes (UIC)

Medically reviewed by Philip Gregory, PharmD, MS, FACN on May 12, 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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