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Ponstel FDA Alerts

The FDA Alert(s) below may be specifically about Ponstel or relate to a group or class of drugs which include Ponstel (mefenamic acid).

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Drugs.com. Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings. For the latest FDA MedWatch alerts, go here.

Recent FDA Alert(s) for mefenamic acid

Drug Safety Communication: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - Avoid Use of NSAIDs in Pregnancy at 20 Weeks or Later

Oct 15, 2020

Audience: Consumer, Patient, Health Professional, Pharmacy

ISSUE: FDA is warning that use of NSAIDs around 20 weeks or later in pregnancy may cause rare but serious kidney problems in an unborn baby. This can lead to low levels of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and possible complications.

For prescription NSAIDs, FDA is requiring changes to the prescribing information to describe the risk of kidney problems in unborn babies that result in low amniotic fluid.

For over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs intended for use in adults, FDA will also update the Drug Facts labels. These labels already warn to avoid using NSAIDs during the last 3 months of pregnancy because the medicines may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery. The Drug Facts labels already advise pregnant and breastfeeding women to ask a health care professional before using these medicines.

BACKGROUND:

NSAIDs

  • are a class of medicines available by prescription and OTC. They are some of the most commonly used medicines for pain and fever.
  • are used to treat medical conditions such as arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches, colds, and the flu.
  • work by blocking the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.
  • are available alone and combined with other medicines. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, and celecoxib.

Common side effects of NSAIDs include: stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

RECOMMENDATION:

Consumers/Patients

  • If you are pregnant, do not use NSAIDs at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy unless specifically advised to do so by your health care professional because these medicines may cause problems in your unborn baby.
  • Many OTC medicines contain NSAIDs, including those used for pain, colds, flu, and insomnia, so it is important to read the Drug Facts labels to find out if the medicines contain NSAIDs.
  • Talk to your health care professional or pharmacist if you have questions or concerns about NSAIDs or which medicines contain them.
  • Other medicines, such as acetaminophen, are available to treat pain and fever during pregnancy. Talk to your pharmacist or health care professional for help deciding which might be best.

Health Care Professionals

  • FDA recommends that health care professionals should limit prescribing NSAIDs between 20 to 30 weeks of pregnancy and avoid prescribing them after 30 weeks of pregnancy. If NSAID treatment is determined necessary, limit use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. Consider ultrasound monitoring of amniotic fluid if NSAID treatment extends beyond 48 hours and discontinue the NSAID if oligohydramnios is found. FDA is warning that use of NSAIDs around 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy may cause fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment.
  • These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation.
  • Oligohydramnios is often, but not always, reversible with treatment discontinuation.
  • Complications of prolonged oligohydramnios may include limb contractures and delayed lung maturation. In some postmarketing cases of impaired neonatal renal function, invasive procedures such as exchange transfusion or dialysis were required.
  • If NSAID treatment is deemed necessary between 20 to 30 weeks of pregnancy, limit use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. As currently described in the NSAID labels, avoid prescribing NSAIDs at 30 weeks and later in pregnancy because of the additional risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
  • The above recommendations do not apply to low-dose 81 mg aspirin prescribed for certain conditions in pregnancy.
  • Consider ultrasound monitoring of amniotic fluid if NSAID treatment extends beyond 48 hours. Discontinue the NSAID if oligohydramnios occurs and follow up according to clinical practice.

Consumers, patients and health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report online.
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

[10/15/2020] - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

Source: FDA

Non-aspirin Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Strengthens Warning of Increased Chance of Heart Attack or Stroke

Jul 9, 2015

Audience: Health Professional, Consumer

[Posted 07/09/2015]

ISSUE:  FDA is strengthening an existing label warning that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Based on FDAs comprehensive review of new safety information, FDA is requiring updates to the drug labels of all prescription NSAIDs. As is the case with current prescription NSAID labels, the Drug Facts labels of over-the-counter (OTC) non-aspirin NSAIDs already contain information on heart attack and stroke risk. FDA will also request updates to the OTC non-aspirin NSAID Drug Facts labels. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication (Table 1) for a list of non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug products.

Prescription NSAID labels will be revised to reflect the following information:

  • The risk of heart attack or stroke can occur as early as the first weeks of using an NSAID. The risk may increase with longer use of the NSAID.
  • The risk appears greater at higher doses.
  • It was previously thought that all NSAIDs may have a similar risk. Newer information makes it less clear that the risk for heart attack or stroke is similar for all NSAIDs; however, this newer information is not sufficient for us to determine that the risk of any particular NSAID is definitely higher or lower than that of any other particular NSAID.
  • NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke in patients with or without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. A large number of studies support this finding, with varying estimates of how much the risk is increased, depending on the drugs and the doses studied.
  • In general, patients with heart disease or risk factors for it have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following NSAID use than patients without these risk factors because they have a higher risk at baseline.
  • Patients treated with NSAIDs following a first heart attack were more likely to die in the first year after the heart attack compared to patients who were not treated with NSAIDs after their first heart attack.
  • There is an increased risk of heart failure with NSAID use.

BACKGROUND: The risk of heart attack and stroke with NSAIDs, either of which can lead to death, was first described in 2005 in the Boxed Warning and Warnings and Precautions sections of the prescription drug labels. Since then, FDA reviewed a variety of new safety information on prescription and OTC NSAIDs, including observational studies, a large combined analysis of clinical trials, and other scientific publications. These studies were also discussed at a joint meeting of the Arthritis Advisory Committee and Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee held on February 10-11, 2014.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients and health care professionals should remain alert for heart-related side effects the entire time that NSAIDs are being taken. Patients taking NSAIDs should seek medical attention immediately if they experience symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, weakness in one part or side of their body, or slurred speech.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

[07/09/2015 - Drug Safety Communication - FDA]

[07/09/2015 - Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - FDA]

COX-2 Selective and Non-Selective Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Jun 15, 2005

Audience: Healthcare professionals and consumers

After concluding that the overall risk versus benefit profile is unfavorable, FDA has requested Pfizer, Inc. to voluntarily withdraw Bextra (valdecoxib) from the market. This request is based on:

* The lack of adequate data on the cardiovascular safety of long-term use of Bextra, along with the increased risk of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in short-term coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) trials that FDA believes may be relevant to chronic use.

* Reports of serious and potentially life-threatening skin reactions, including deaths, in patients using Bextra. The risk of these reactions in individual patients is unpredictable, occurring in patients with and without a prior history of sulfa allergy, and after both short- and long-term use.

* Lack of any demonstrated advantages for Bextra compared with other NSAIDs.

Patients currently taking Bextra should contact their physicians to consider alternative treatments. FDA is also asking manufacturers of all marketed prescription NSAIDs, including Celebrex (celecoxib), a COX-2 selective NSAID, to revise the labeling (package insert) for their products to include a boxed warning and a Medication Guide. The boxed warning will highlight the potential for increased risk of CV events with these drugs and the well-described, serious, and potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding associated with their use. The Medication Guide will accompany every prescription NSAID at the time it is dispensed to better inform patients about the CV and GI risks. Finally, FDA is asking manufacturers of non-prescription (OTC) NSAIDs to revise their labeling to include more specific information about the potential GI and CV risks, and information to assist consumers in the safe use of the drug. This announcement does not apply to aspirin as it has clearly been shown to reduce the risk of serious adverse CV events in certain patient populations.

[April 07, 2005 - Public Health Advisory - FDA]
[April 07, 2005 - Drug Information Page - FDA]
[April 07, 2005 - Questions and Answers - FDA]

COX-2 Selective and Non-Selective Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Apr 7, 2005

Audience: Healthcare professionals and consumers

After concluding that the overall risk versus benefit profile is unfavorable, FDA has requested Pfizer, Inc. to voluntarily withdraw Bextra (valdecoxib) from the market. This request is based on:

* The lack of adequate data on the cardiovascular safety of long-term use of Bextra, along with the increased risk of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events in short-term coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) trials that FDA believes may be relevant to chronic use.

* Reports of serious and potentially life-threatening skin reactions, including deaths, in patients using Bextra. The risk of these reactions in individual patients is unpredictable, occurring in patients with and without a prior history of sulfa allergy, and after both short- and long-term use.

* Lack of any demonstrated advantages for Bextra compared with other NSAIDs.

Patients currently taking Bextra should contact their physicians to consider alternative treatments. FDA is also asking manufacturers of all marketed prescription NSAIDs, including Celebrex (celecoxib), a COX-2 selective NSAID, to revise the labeling (package insert) for their products to include a boxed warning and a Medication Guide. The boxed warning will highlight the potential for increased risk of CV events with these drugs and the well-described, serious, and potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding associated with their use. The Medication Guide will accompany every prescription NSAID at the time it is dispensed to better inform patients about the CV and GI risks. Finally, FDA is asking manufacturers of non-prescription (OTC) NSAIDs to revise their labeling to include more specific information about the potential GI and CV risks, and information to assist consumers in the safe use of the drug. This announcement does not apply to aspirin as it has clearly been shown to reduce the risk of serious adverse CV events in certain patient populations.

[April 07, 2005 - Public Health Advisory - FDA]
[April 07, 2005 - Drug Information Page - FDA]
[April 07, 2005 - Questions and Answers - FDA]

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