Drugs A - Z

Mefenamic Acid Oral capsule

It is used to reduce swelling and to treat pain

Generic Name: mefenamic acid

Brand Names: Ponstel

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

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.

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
  • drink alcohol-containing beverages
  • heart disease or circulation problems like heart failure or leg edema (fluid retention)
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • recent heart surgery
  • stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • swelling of ankles or hands
  • taking medicines that treat or prevent blood clots like warfarin
  • taking steroid medicines like prednisone or cortisone
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to mefenamic acid, aspirin, other NSAIDs, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

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.

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:
  • cidofovir
  • ketorolac
  • methotrexate

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • alendronate
  • antacids with magnesium
  • aspirin and aspirin-like medicines
  • diuretics
  • herbal products that contain feverfew, garlic, ginger, or ginkgo biloba
  • lithium
  • 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
  • pemetrexed


Last Updated: June 25, 2009
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