Sulindac is used to reduce pain, swelling, and joint stiffness from arthritis. It is also used to treat arthritis of the spine, gouty arthritis, and shoulder bursitis/tendonitis. This medication is known as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including sulindac) may rarely increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke. This effect can happen at any time while taking this drug but is more likely if you take it for a long time. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or increased risk for heart disease (for example, due to smoking, family history of heart disease, or conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes). Do not take this drug right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG).
Also, this drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. This effect can occur without warning symptoms at any time while taking this drug. Older adults may be at higher risk for this effect. (See also Precautions and Drug Interactions sections.)
Stop taking sulindac and get medical help right away if you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects: bloody or black/tarry stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, slurred speech.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using sulindac and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually twice daily. Take this medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters), unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug. Take this medication either with food, right after meals, or with antacids to prevent stomach upset.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To lessen side effect risks (such as stomach bleeding), use this medication at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible length of time. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. For chronic conditions such as arthritis, continue taking it as directed by your doctor. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor or pharmacist. Also, the manufacturer recommends that you do not take more than 400 milligrams per day because this may increase your risk of liver problems.
In certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take 1-2 weeks before the full benefits take effect when this drug is taken regularly.
If you are taking this drug on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has significantly worsened, the medicine may not work as well.
Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.