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All about: Mefenamic acid

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Generic name: Mefenamic acid
Brand names: Ponstel

Why is Mefenamic acid prescribed?

Ponstel, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is used for the relief of moderate pain (when treatment will not last for more than 7 days) and for the treatment of menstrual pain.

Most important fact about Mefenamic acid

You should have frequent checkups with your doctor if you take Ponstel regularly. Ulcers or internal bleeding can occur without warning.

How should you take Mefenamic acid?

Take Ponstel with food if possible. If it upsets your stomach, be sure to take it with food or an antacid or with a full glass of milk.

Take Ponstel exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

--If you miss a dose...

If you take Ponstel on a regular schedule, take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store away from heat, light, and moisture.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Ponstel.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, stomach and intestinal upset, vomiting

Why should Mefenamic acid not be prescribed?

Do not take Ponstel if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to it. You should not take it, either, if you have had asthma attacks, hay fever, or hives caused by aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Motrin and Nuprin. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Do not take Ponstel if you have ulcerations or frequently recurring inflammation of your stomach or intestines.

Avoid Mefenamic acid if you have serious kidney disease.

Special warnings about Mefenamic acid

Use Ponstel with extreme caution if you've suffered from stomach ulcers or bleeding in the past. If you develop a rash, diarrhea, or other stomach problems, contact your doctor.

If you are an older adult; have kidney problems, liver disease, or heart failure; take drugs such as diuretics or ACE inhibitors; or suffer from dehydration, Ponstel could damage your kidneys and should be used with caution.

Ponstel occasionally causes liver damage. If you develop warning signs such as nausea, fatigue, yellowing of the skin and eyes, itching, flu-like symptoms, and upper abdominal pain, stop taking Ponstel and seek medical attention immediately.

Ponstel can also aggravate high blood pressure, asthma, and heart failure. Use it with caution if you have any of these conditions. Use it cautiously, too, if you smoke or are in poor health.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Mefenamic acid

If Ponstel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either can be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Ponstel with the following:

ACE inhibitors (drugs for high blood pressure) such as Capoten and Vasotec
Alcohol
Aspirin
Blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin
Diuretics such as Lasix and HydroDIURIL
Fluconazole (DiFlucan)
Lithium (Lithonate)
Lovastatin (Mevacor)
Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
Steroids such as prednisone and hydrocortisone
Trimethoprim (Proloprim, Bactrim, Septra)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Ponstel during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. You should not use Ponstel in late pregnancy because nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect the heart and blood vessels of the developing baby. Ponstel may appear in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Mefenamic acid is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS AND CHILDREN OVER 14

Moderate Pain

The usual starting dose is 500 milligrams, followed by 250 milligrams every 6 hours, if needed, for 1 week.

Menstrual Pain

The usual starting dose, once symptoms appear, is 500 milligrams, followed by 250 milligrams every 6 hours for 2 to 3 days.

CHILDREN

The safety and effectiveness of Ponstel have not been established in children under 14.

Overdosage

If you suspect an overdose of Ponstel, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Ponstel overdose may include:
    Drowsiness, lack of energy, nausea, stomach or abdominal pain, vomiting

In severe cases, breathing problems and coma can develop.

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