What is this medicine?
MEFENAMIC ACID (me fe NAM ik AS id) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is used to reduce swelling and to treat pain. This medicine may be used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used to treat painful menstrual periods.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ponstel
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- cigarette smoker
- coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery within the past 2 weeks
- drink more than 3 alcohol-containing beverages a day
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- history of stomach bleeding
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- lung or breathing disease, like asthma
- an unusual or allergic reaction to mefenamic acid, aspirin, other NSAIDs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine with food if your stomach gets upset. Try to not lie down for at least 10 minutes after you take the medicine. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Long-term, continuous use may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 14 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- antacids with magnesium
- aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
- herbal products that contain feverfew, garlic, ginger, or ginkgo biloba
- medicines for high blood pressure
- medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
- other NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Tell your doctor or healthcare provider if your pain does not get better. Talk to your doctor before taking another medicine for pain. Do not treat yourself.
This medicine may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medicine. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
This medicine does not prevent heart attack or stroke. In fact, this medicine may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. The chance may increase with longer use of this medicine and in people who have heart disease. If you take aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke, talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Do not take medicines such as ibuprofen and naproxen with this medicine. Side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, or ulcers may be more likely to occur. Many medicines available without a prescription should not be taken with this medicine.
This medicine can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment. Do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. These increase irritation to your stomach and can make it more susceptible to damage from this medicine. Ulcers and bleeding can happen without warning symptoms and can cause death.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- black tarry stools
- blurred vision
- breathing problems
- chest pain
- general ill feeling or 'flu-like' symptoms
- high blood pressure
- right upper belly pain
- redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- slurring of speech
- stomach pain or cramps
- sudden weight gain or swelling
- trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusually weak or tired
- vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- diarrhea or constipation
- dizziness, drowsiness
- gas or heartburn
- nausea, vomiting
- unusually sensitive to the sun
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.