Generic Name: meclofenamate, Oral capsule

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SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for meclofenamate

Oral capsule
1

Meclofenamate is an oral medication used to treat mild to moderate pain, arthritis pain, painful menstruation, and pain in a number of other conditions.

2

Common side effects include upset stomach, skin rash, headache, ringing in your ears, and dizziness.

3

This medication can increase your risk of serious heart and stomach problems, including heart attack, stroke, ulcers, and stomach bleeding.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause severe and life-threatening heart events. Don’t take this medication if you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or heart failure. It may increase your risk of having a blood clot, heart attack, or stroke. These events can be fatal. You may be at greater risk of you already have a heart problem.

Don’t use this medication if you’re having coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Using this drug to treat pain before or after your surgery increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.

May cause severe and life-threatening stomach problems. This drug increases your risk of stomach bleeding, ulcers, or creating small holes in the lining of your stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. Don’t use this medication if you have current stomach bleeding. These events may occur at any time and without any warning symptoms. People older than 65 years are at greater risk.

NSAID allergy warning

Don’t take this medication if you’ve ever had trouble breathing, broken out in hives, or had a serious allergic reaction to aspirin or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Kidney problems

Kidney problems have occurred in some people taking this drug for a long period of time. You have greater risk if you’re a senior, have impaired kidney function, impaired liver function, heart failure, or if you’re taking medications like diuretics or ACE inhibitors.

Drug Features

Meclofenamate is a prescription medication. It’s available as an oral capsule.

Why It's Used

Meclofenamate is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

More Details

How It Works

It isn’t fully understood how meclofenamate works. Meclofenamate belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever.

Why It's Used

Meclofenamate is used to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

It’s approved to treat:

  • mild to moderate pain
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • osteoarthritis
  • painful menstruation
  • pain in these conditions:
    • juvenile arthritis
    • ankylosing spondylitis
    • acute painful shoulder
    • acute gouty arthritis
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meclofenamate Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with meclofenamate include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • upset stomach

  • skin rash

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • ringing in your ears

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • heart attack. Symptoms may include:

    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
  • stroke. Symptoms may include:

    • slurred speech
    • weakness in one side or part of your body
  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • skin rash with blisters or fever
    • swelling of your face or throat
  • stomach ulcer or bleeding. Symptoms may include:

    • black and sticky stools
  • liver damage. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Meclofenamate does not cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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meclofenamate May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Meclofenamate can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re talking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. 

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Blood pressure drugs
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors

Meclofenamate may cause these blood pressure medications not to work as well. This may lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Bipolar disorder drug
  • lithium 

Combining these drugs may cause the level of lithium in your body to increase, which can increase its side effects. If you combine these drugs, your doctor may monitor your kidney function.

Anticoagulant, blood thinner
  • warfarin

Taking meclofenamate with warfarin increases your risk of stomach bleeding.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Examples are: 

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen
  • naproxen
  • ketoprofen 

Combining these drugs may increase your risk of side effects, such as ulcer and stomach bleeding.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with liver problems

Meclofenamate can increase certain liver enzymes, and in some cases may cause harm to your liver. If you have liver disease, you shouldn’t take this medication.

People with asthma

Don’t use meclofenamate if you have aspirin-sensitive asthma. It could cause a fatal allergic reaction.

Pregnant women

Meclofenamate is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things: 

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Meclofenamate should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are nursing

Small amounts of meclofenamate may pass through breast milk. It may cause negative effects in a breastfeeding baby.

You and your doctor may decide whether you’ll take meclofenamate or breastfeed.

For Children

The effectiveness and safety of meclofenamate haven’t been established in people younger than 14 years. The drug is not FDA-approved to treat people younger than 18 years.

Allergies

Meclofenamate can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face or throat
  • hives

Don’t take this medication again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it.  Taking it again could be fatal.

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How to Take meclofenamate (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Mild to moderate pain

Generic

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 50 mg and 100 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 50 mg or 100 mg taken every 4–6 hours.
  • The maximum daily amount is 400 mg.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Painful menstruation

Generic

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 50 mg and 100 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • 100 mg taken 3 times per day in evenly spaced doses for up to 6 days.
  • This drug should be started when menstrual flow begins.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Generic

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 50 mg and 100 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The dose is 200–400 mg per day taken in 3–4 equal doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Osteoarthritis

Generic

Form: Oral Capsule
Strength: 50 mg and 100 mg
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)

The dose is 200–400 mg per day taken in 3–4 equal doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Meclofenamate comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Take Too Much

There’s little information about overdosing on meclofenamate. A large overdose could lead to seizures and kidney problems. Get emergency medical help if you take or think you’ve taken too much.

How to Tell If the Drug Is Working

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if you experience less pain and inflammation.

This is a short-term medication.

Important Considerations for Taking Meclofenamate
take with food Take with food or milk to avoid upset stomach
do not crush capsule Don’t crush, break, or chew the oral capsule. Swallow it whole
storage Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C) See Details
refillable prescription Prescription is refillable
luggage Travel See Details
clinical monitoring Clinical Monitoring See Details
prior authorization needed Insurance See Details

Store at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Keep the medication away from light and high temperatures. 

Note: Keep your medications away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the medication. Keep the prescription-labeled box with you when you travel.

Clinical Monitoring

Kidney function: Your doctor may check your kidney function with blood tests while you take this drug if you have a kidney problem or if you’ve had abnormal kidney tests.

Blood pressure: Meclofenamate can increase your blood pressure. Your doctor may monitor your blood pressure while you take this drug.

Stomach bleeding: Ulcers or stomach bleeding can occur when taking meclofenamate for a long period of time. Your doctor may monitor you for signs and symptoms of ulcers or stomach bleeding.

Insurance

Some insurance companies may require prior authorization before approving and paying for the prescription.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does meclofenamate Cost?

Oral capsule
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

Compare prices and save money on your next refill!

Lowest price for meclofenamate

CVS Pharmacy $153.18
Walgreens $181.72
Rite-Aid $193.20
These represent the lowest cash prices for meclofenamate and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of meclofenamate near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for meclofenamate and may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 20, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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