[Note: Indomethacin (aka Indocin, Indocid, etc.) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory used to reduce fever, pain, stiffness, swelling by inhibiting production of the protaglandins that cause these symptoms.]
A study was conducted to see the disease activity suppression role of omega-3 fatty acids with indomethacin in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. One group received indomethacin (75 mg) only daily while another group received indomethacin (75 mg) along with omega-3 fatty acids (3 g) daily for 12 weeks.
The main outcome measures were DAS 2-28 joints score, number of swollen joints, number of tender joints, duration of morning stiffness, grip strength, pain VAS, patients global VAS, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein.
In terms of outcome both the groups experienced a modest improvement in disease activity after 12 weeks of treatment. However, compared to indomethacin-treated group, omega-3 plus indomethacin-treated group achieved a better improvement in terms of reducing disease activity.
Physical functioning, physical role, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, grip strength, duration of morning stiffness improved significantly better in the combination group compared to indomethacin only group.
The safety measures included liver and kidney function tests done didn’t differ between the study groups.
This study suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation with indomethacin might ameliorate disease activity and be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) sparing in rheumatoid arthritis.
Source: Bangladesh Medical Research council Bulletin, Aug 2009;35(2):63-8. PMID: 20120782, by Das Gupta AB, Hossain AK, Islam MH, Dey SR, Khan AL. Department of Pharmacology, Osmani Medical College, Sylhet, Bangladesh.