Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 21, 2022.
- This medicine may raise the risk of heart and blood vessel problems like heart attack and stroke. These effects can be deadly. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or risks for heart disease. However, it can also be raised even if you do not have heart disease or risks for heart disease. The risk can happen within the first weeks of using Ponstel (mefenamic acid) and may be greater with higher doses or long-term use. Do not use Ponstel (mefenamic acid) right before or after bypass heart surgery.
- This medicine may raise the chance of severe and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel problems like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people, and in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs.
The Ponstel brand name has been discontinued in the U.S. If generic versions of this product have been approved by the FDA, there may be generic equivalents available.
Uses of Ponstel:
- It is used to ease pain.
- It is used to ease painful period (menstrual) cycles.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Ponstel?
- If you have an allergy to mefenamic acid or any other part of Ponstel (mefenamic acid).
- If you have an allergy to aspirin or NSAIDs.
- If you are allergic to Ponstel (mefenamic acid); any part of Ponstel (mefenamic acid); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If you have ever had asthma caused by a salicylate drug like aspirin or a drug like this one like NSAIDs.
- If you have any of these health problems: GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding or kidney problems.
- If you have heart failure (weak heart).
- If you have had a recent heart attack.
- If you are taking any other NSAID, a salicylate drug like aspirin, or pemetrexed.
- If you are having trouble getting pregnant or you are having your fertility checked.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take Ponstel (mefenamic acid) if you are in the third trimester of pregnancy. You may also need to avoid Ponstel (mefenamic acid) at other times during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor to see when you need to avoid taking Ponstel (mefenamic acid) during pregnancy.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Ponstel (mefenamic acid).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Ponstel (mefenamic acid) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Ponstel?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Ponstel (mefenamic acid). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have your blood work checked if you are on Ponstel (mefenamic acid) for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take Ponstel (mefenamic acid).
- High blood pressure has happened with drugs like this one. Have your blood pressure checked as you have been told by your doctor.
- Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
- If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
- Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
- Do not take Ponstel (mefenamic acid) for longer than you were told by your doctor.
- If you have asthma, talk with your doctor. You may be more sensitive to Ponstel (mefenamic acid).
- You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
- The chance of heart failure is raised with the use of drugs like this one. In people who already have heart failure, the chance of heart attack, having to go to the hospital for heart failure, and death is raised. Talk with the doctor.
- The chance of heart attack and heart-related death is raised in people taking drugs like this one after a recent heart attack. People taking drugs like this one after a first heart attack were also more likely to die in the year after the heart attack compared with people not taking drugs like this one. Talk with the doctor.
- If you are taking aspirin to help prevent a heart attack, talk with your doctor.
- Liver problems have happened with drugs like this one. Sometimes, this has been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- If you are 65 or older, use Ponstel (mefenamic acid) with care. You could have more side effects.
- NSAIDs like Ponstel (mefenamic acid) may affect egg release (ovulation) in women. This may cause you to not be able to get pregnant. This goes back to normal when Ponstel (mefenamic acid) is stopped. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Ponstel (mefenamic acid), call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Ponstel) best taken?
Use Ponstel (mefenamic acid) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Take with a full glass of water.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take Ponstel (mefenamic acid) on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times Ponstel (mefenamic acid) is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up or coughing up blood; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a cause or that get bigger; or bleeding you cannot stop.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of high potassium levels like a heartbeat that does not feel normal; feeling confused; feeling weak, lightheaded, or dizzy; feeling like passing out; numbness or tingling; or shortness of breath.
- Signs of high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
- Weakness on 1 side of the body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, drooping on one side of the face, or blurred eyesight.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Ringing in ears.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Ponstel?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Stomach pain or diarrhea.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Ponstel?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from light.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time Ponstel (mefenamic acid) is refilled. If you have any questions about Ponstel (mefenamic acid), please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
More about Ponstel (mefenamic acid)
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Reviews (17)
- Drug images
- Generic availability
- Drug class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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