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Mefenamic Acid

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/25/2021
Mefenamic Acid Side Effects Center

What Is Mefenamic Acid?

Mefenamic Acid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) indicated for relief of mild to moderate pain in patients 14 years of age and older, when therapy will not exceed one week (7 days), and for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Mefenamic acid is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Mefenamic Acid?

Common side effects of mefenamic acid include:

Dosage for Mefenamic Acid

For the relief of acute pain in adults and adolescents 14 years of age and older, the recommended dose of mefenamic acid is 500 mg as an initial dose followed by 250 mg every 6 hours as needed, usually not to exceed one week. For the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea, the recommended dose of mefenamic acid is 500 mg as an initial dose followed by 250 mg every 6 hours, given orally, starting with the onset of bleeding and associated symptoms.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Mefenamic Acid?

Mefenamic acid may interact with anticoagulants, antiplatelet agents, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, diuretics, digoxin, lithium, methotrexate, cyclosporine, pemetrexed, and antacids. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

Mefenamic Acid During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During early pregnancy, use mefenamic acid only if prescribed. Mefenamic acid is not recommended during the third trimester of pregnancy as it may harm a fetus. Mefenamic acid passes into breast milk and is not recommended for use while breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Mefenamic Acid Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Mefenamic Acid Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using mefenamic acid and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • signs of stomach bleeding--bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • kidney problems--little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or
  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, indigestion, nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea, constipation, gas;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • itching, skin rash; or
  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Mefenamic Acid (Mefenamic Acid Capsules)

QUESTION

Medically speaking, the term "myalgia" refers to what type of pain? See Answer
Mefenamic Acid Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice. In patients taking mefenamic acid or other NSAIDs, the most frequently reported adverse experiences occurring in approximately 1-10% of patients are:

Gastrointestinal experiences including - abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, gross bleeding/perforation, heartburn, nausea, GI ulcers (gastric/duodenal), vomiting, abnormal renal function, anemia, dizziness, edema, elevated liver enzymes, headaches, increased bleeding time, pruritus, rashes, tinnitus

Additional adverse experiences reported occasionally and listed here by body system include:

Body as a whole - fever, infection, sepsis

Cardiovascular system - congestive heart failure, hypertension, tachycardia, syncope

Digestive system - dry mouth, esophagitis, gastric/peptic ulcers, gastritis, gastrointestinal bleeding, glossitis, hematemesis, hepatitis, jaundice

Hemic and lymphatic system - ecchymosis, eosinophilia, leukopenia, melena, purpura, rectal bleeding, stomatitis, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic and nutritional - weight changes

Nervous system - anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, dream abnormalities, drowsiness; insomnia, malaise, nervousness, paresthesia, somnolence, tremors, vertigo

Respiratory system - asthma, dyspnea

Skin and appendages - alopecia, photosensitivity, pruritus, sweat

Special senses - blurred vision

Urogenital system - cystitis, dysuria, hematuria, interstitial nephritis, oliguria/polyuria, proteinuria, renal failure

Other adverse reactions, which occur rarely are:

Body as a whole - anaphylactoid reactions, appetite changes, death

Cardiovascular system - arrhythmia, hypotension, myocardial infarction, palpitations, vasculitis

Digestive system - eructation, liver failure, pancreatitis

Hemic and lymphatic system - agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, lymph adenopathy, pancytopenia

Metabolic and nutritional - hyperglycemia

Nervous system - convulsions, coma, hallucinations, meningitis

Respiratory - respiratory depression, pneumonia

Skin and appendages - angioedema, toxic epidermal necrosis, erythema multiforme, exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, urticaria

Special senses - conjunctivitis, hearing impairment

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Mefenamic Acid (Mefenamic Acid Capsules)

Related Resources for Mefenamic Acid

© Mefenamic Acid Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Mefenamic Acid Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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