Sulindac (Clinoril®)

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About This Drug

Sulindac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug used to treat pain and decrease inflammation (swelling). It can also be used to help treat cancer. It is given orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

  • Ringing in the ear
  • Pain in your abdomen
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting (throwing up)
  • Diarrhea (loose bowel movements)
  • Constipation (unable to move bowels)
  • Excess gas
  • Heartburn
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Headache
  • Feeling nervous or worried (anxiety)
  • Rash and itching

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Risk of blood clots and events such as stroke and heart attack. A blood clot in your leg may cause your leg to swell, appear red and warm, and/or cause pain. A blood clot in your lungs may cause trouble breathing, pain when breathing, and/or chest pain.
  • High blood pressure
  • Congestive heart failure – your heart has less ability to pump blood properly
  • Severe and life-threatening inflammation of your stomach, small and/or large intestine, which can cause bleeding, ulcers and/or an abnormal hole 
  • Changes in your liver function, which can cause liver failure and be life-threatening
  • Changes in your kidney function, which can cause kidney failure and be life-threatening
  • Changes to your vision, or your eyes
  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis are rare but may happen in some patients, and can be life-threatening. Signs of allergic reaction to this drug may be swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way. If this happens, do not take another dose of this drug. You should get urgent medical treatment.
  • Severe allergic skin reaction which can be life-threatening. You may develop blisters on your skin that are filled with fluid or a severe red rash all over your body that may be painful.
  • Inflammation of your pancreas
  • Decrease in red blood cells. This may make you feel more tired.

Note: Some of the side effects above are very rare. If you have concerns and/or questions, please discuss them with your medical team.

Important Information

  • Tell your doctor before taking sulindac about all your medical conditions, especially if you have a history of asthma, itching or an allergic reaction after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Take the medicine with food.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, contact your doctor. Do not take 2 doses at the same time and do not double up on the next dose.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day.
  • Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • If you are dizzy, get up slowly after sitting or lying.
  • If you are feeling anxious, talk to your nurse or doctor about it and they may be able to offer you some stress-relief techniques and/or support groups that may help relieve your anxiety.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (a minimum of eight glasses per day is recommended).
  • If you throw up or have loose bowel movements, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack of water in the body from losing too much fluid).
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • If you have diarrhea, eat low-fiber foods that are high in protein and calories and avoid foods that can irritate your digestive tracts or lead to cramping.
  • Ask your nurse or doctor about medicine that can lessen or stop your diarrhea and/or constipation.
  • If you are not able to move your bowels, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories.
  • To help decrease excess gas, avoid gas-producing foods, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes and apricots.
  • To help with decreased appetite, eat small, frequent meals. Eat foods high in calories and protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, tofu, eggs, nuts, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, pudding, and nutritional supplements.
  • Consider using sauces and spices to increase taste. Daily exercise, with your doctor’s approval, may increase your appetite.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of sulindac with food, however this medication should be taken with food.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist about all other prescription medicines and over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) you are taking before starting this medicine as there are known drug interactions with sulindac. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or dietary supplements to make sure that there are no interactions.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5 F (38 C) or higher
  • Chills
  • A headache that does not go away
  • Blurry vision or other changes in eyesight
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Wheezing and/or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or symptoms of a heart attack. Most heart attacks involve pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. The pain may go away and come back. It can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain. Sometimes pain is felt in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. If any of these symptoms last 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Symptoms of a stroke such as sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg, mostly on one side of your body; sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, feeling dizzy, loss of balance or coordination; or sudden, bad headache with no known cause. If you have any of these symptoms for 2 minutes, call 911.
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Excessive gas or pain in your abdomen that does not go away
  • Pain along the digestive tract, especially if worse after eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blood in your vomit (bright red or coffee-ground) and/or stools (bright red, or black/tarry)
  • Coughing up blood
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking or is not relieved by prescribed medicine
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable
  • Diarrhea, 4 times in one day or diarrhea with lack of strength or a feeling of being dizzy
  • Weight gain of 5 pounds in one week (fluid retention)
  • Swelling of your legs, ankles and/or feet
  • Your leg or arm is swollen, red, warm and/or painful
  • Decreased urine, or very dark urine
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Signs of allergic reaction: swelling of the face, feeling like your tongue or throat are swelling, trouble breathing, rash, itching, fever, chills, feeling dizzy, and/or feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way
  • A new rash or a rash that is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Itching that is bothersome
  • If you think you may be pregnant

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Women of child bearing potential should use effective methods of birth control during your cancer treatment. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breastfeeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.

New November 2018

This patient information was developed by Via Oncology, LLC © 2018. This information is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have.

CLIENT acknowledges that the Via Pathways and Via Portal are information management tools only, and that Via Oncology, LLC has not represented the Via Pathways or Via Portal as having the ability to diagnose disease, prescribe treatment, or perform any other tasks that constitute the practice of medicine. The clinical information contained in the Via Pathways and Via Portal are intended as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the knowledge, expertise, skill, and judgment of physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals involved with patient care at CLIENT facilities.