Skip to Content

Mefenamic Acid

Pronunciation

Pronunciation

(me fe NAM ik AS id)

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Capsule, Oral:

Ponstel: 250 mg

Generic: 250 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Ponstel

Pharmacologic Category

  • Analgesic, Nonopioid
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID), Oral

Pharmacology

Reversibly inhibits cyclooxygenase-1 and 2 (COX-1 and 2) enzymes, which results in decreased formation of prostaglandin precursors; has antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Other proposed mechanisms not fully elucidated (and possibly contributing to the anti-inflammatory effect to varying degrees) include inhibiting chemotaxis, altering lymphocyte activity, inhibiting neutrophil aggregation/activation, and decreasing proinflammatory cytokine levels.

Absorption

Rapidly absorbed

Distribution

Vd: 1.06 L/kg

Metabolism

Hepatic via CYP2C9 to metabolites (activity not known)

Excretion

Urine (~52%) and feces (~20%) as unchanged drug and metabolites

Time to Peak

2 to 4 hours

Half-Life Elimination

~2 hours

Protein Binding

>90% to albumin

Special Populations: Renal Function Impairment

The potential exists for mefenamic acid metabolites to accumulate.

Special Populations: Hepatic Function Impairment

The potential exists for mefenamic acid metabolites to accumulate.

Use: Labeled Indications

Pain, mild to moderate: Relief of mild to moderate pain in patients ≥14 years, when therapy will not exceed 1 week.

Primary dysmenorrhea: Treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.

Contraindications

Hypersensitivity to mefenamic acid, or any component of the formulation; use in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery; history of asthma, urticaria, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Pregnancy (third trimester); breast-feeding; severe uncontrolled heart failure; active gastric, duodenal, or peptic ulcer; active gastrointestinal bleeding; cerebrovascular bleeding or other bleeding disorders; inflammatory bowel disease; severe hepatic impairment or active hepatic disease; severe renal impairment (CrCl <30 mL/minute) or deteriorating renal disease; known hyperkalemia; adolescents <18 years of age

Dosing: Adult

Note: Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration.

Pain, mild to moderate: Oral: Initial: 500 mg, then 250 mg every 6 hours as needed; usually not to exceed 1 week.

Primary dysmenorrhea: Oral:

Manufacturer's labeling: Initial: 500 mg beginning at the onset of bleeding and associated symptoms, followed by 250 mg every 6 hours; continue for 2 to 3 days

Alternate recommendations (off-label dose): 500 mg 3 times daily for up to 3 to 5 days (Delgado 1994; De Mello 2004; Langrick 1989)

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Use with caution; initiate dose at lower end of the dosing range.

Dosing: Pediatric

Pain, mild to moderate: Adolescents ≥14 years: Refer to adult dosing.

Dosing: Renal Impairment

Avoid use in patients with preexisting renal disease and in patients with advanced renal disease.

KDIGO 2012 guidelines provide the following recommendations for NSAIDs:

eGFR 30 to <60 mL/minute/1.73 m2: Temporarily discontinue in patients with intercurrent disease that increases risk of acute kidney injury.

eGFR <30 mL/minute/1.73 m2: Avoid use.

Dosing: Hepatic Impairment

There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied); however, adjustment may be necessary due to extensive hepatic metabolism.

Administration

Administer with food, milk, or antacids.

Storage

Store between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions are permitted between 15°C to 30°C (59°F to 86°F).

Drug Interactions

5-ASA Derivatives: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of 5-ASA Derivatives. Monitor therapy

ACE Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, the combination may result in a significant decrease in renal function. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of ACE Inhibitors. Monitor therapy

Agents with Antiplatelet Properties (e.g., P2Y12 inhibitors, NSAIDs, SSRIs, etc.): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of other Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, the risk of GI bleeding may be increased with this combination. Monitor therapy

Aliskiren: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of Aliskiren. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Aliskiren. Management: Monitor renal function periodically in patients receiving aliskiren and any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Patients at elevated risk of renal dysfunction include those who are elderly, are volume depleted, or have pre-existing renal dysfunction. Monitor therapy

Aminoglycosides: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may decrease the excretion of Aminoglycosides. Data only in premature infants. Monitor therapy

Aminolevulinic Acid: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Aminolevulinic Acid. Monitor therapy

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, the combination may result in a significant decrease in renal function. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. The combination of these two agents may also significantly decrease glomerular filtration and renal function. Monitor therapy

Anticoagulants: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Anticoagulants. Monitor therapy

Anticoagulants: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Anticoagulants. Monitor therapy

Antidepressants (Tricyclic, Tertiary Amine): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of NSAID (Nonselective). Monitor therapy

Apixaban: NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Apixaban. Specifically, the risk of bleeding may be increased. Management: A comprehensive risk to benefit assessment should be done for all patients before any concurrent use of apixaban and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If combined, monitor patients extra closely for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Consider therapy modification

Beta-Blockers: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of Beta-Blockers. Exceptions: Levobunolol; Metipranolol. Monitor therapy

Bile Acid Sequestrants: May decrease the absorption of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Consider therapy modification

Bisphosphonate Derivatives: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Bisphosphonate Derivatives. Both an increased risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and an increased risk of nephrotoxicity are of concern. Monitor therapy

Cephalothin: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Cephalothin. Specifically, the risk for bleeding may be increased. Monitor therapy

Collagenase (Systemic): Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Collagenase (Systemic). Specifically, the risk of injection site bruising and/or bleeding may be increased. Monitor therapy

Corticosteroids (Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of NSAID (Nonselective). Monitor therapy

CycloSPORINE (Systemic): Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of CycloSPORINE (Systemic). CycloSPORINE (Systemic) may increase the serum concentration of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, elevated diclofenac concentrations have been reported. Management: Consider alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Monitor for evidence of nephrotoxicity, as well as increased serum cyclosporine concentrations and systemic effects (e.g., hypertension) during concomitant therapy with NSAIDs. Consider therapy modification

Dabigatran Etexilate: NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Dabigatran Etexilate. Specifically, the risk of bleeding may be increased. Management: A comprehensive risk to benefit assessment should be done for all patients before any concurrent use of dabigatran and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If combined, monitor patients extra closely for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Consider therapy modification

Dasatinib: May enhance the anticoagulant effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Deferasirox: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Deferasirox. Specifically, the risk for GI ulceration/irritation or GI bleeding may be increased. Monitor therapy

Deoxycholic Acid: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Deoxycholic Acid. Specifically, the risk for bleeding or bruising in the treatment area may be increased. Monitor therapy

Desmopressin: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Desmopressin. Monitor therapy

Dexketoprofen: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Diclofenac (Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Management: Seek alternatives to the combined use of diclofenac with other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs). Avoid the use of diclofenac/misoprostol with other NSAIDs. Consider therapy modification

Digoxin: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of Digoxin. Monitor therapy

Drospirenone: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Drospirenone. Monitor therapy

Edoxaban: NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Edoxaban. Specifically, the risk of bleeding may be increased. Management: A comprehensive risk to benefit assessment should be done for all patients before any concurrent use of edoxaban and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If combined, monitor patients extra closely for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Consider therapy modification

Eplerenone: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of Eplerenone. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Eplerenone. Monitor therapy

Floctafenine: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Glucosamine: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Haloperidol: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Haloperidol. Specifically including drowsiness and confusion. Monitor therapy

Herbs (Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Properties) (eg, Alfalfa, Anise, Bilberry): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Bleeding may occur. Consider therapy modification

Herbs (Anticoagulant/Antiplatelet Properties) (eg, Alfalfa, Anise, Bilberry): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Bleeding may occur. Management: Concomitant treatment with these agents should generally be avoided. If used concomitantly, increased diligence in monitoring for adverse effects (eg, bleeding, bruising, altered mental status due to CNS bleeds) must be employed. Consider therapy modification

HydrALAZINE: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of HydrALAZINE. Monitor therapy

Ibritumomab: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Ibritumomab. Both agents may contribute to impaired platelet function and an increased risk of bleeding. Monitor therapy

Ibrutinib: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Ketorolac (Nasal): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Ketorolac (Systemic): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Limaprost: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Lithium: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of Lithium. Consider therapy modification

Loop Diuretics: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the diuretic effect of Loop Diuretics. Loop Diuretics may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Management: Monitor for evidence of kidney injury or decreased therapeutic effects of loop diuretics with concurrent use of an NSAID. Consider avoiding concurrent use in CHF or cirrhosis. Concomitant use of bumetanide with indomethacin is not recommended. Consider therapy modification

Methotrexate: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of Methotrexate. Management: Alternative anti-inflammatory therapy should be considered whenever possible, especially if the patient is receiving higher, antineoplastic doses of methotrexate. Consider therapy modification

Morniflumate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Multivitamins/Fluoride (with ADE): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Multivitamins/Minerals (with ADEK, Folate, Iron): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Multivitamins/Minerals (with AE, No Iron): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Naftazone: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of other Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Monitor therapy

NSAID (COX-2 Inhibitor): Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of NSAID (COX-2 Inhibitor). Avoid combination

Obinutuzumab: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Obinutuzumab. Specifically, the risk of serious bleeding-related events may be increased. Monitor therapy

Omacetaxine: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Omacetaxine. Specifically, the risk for bleeding-related events may be increased. Management: Avoid concurrent use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with omacetaxine in patients with a platelet count of less than 50,000/uL. Avoid combination

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Pelubiprofen: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

PEMEtrexed: NSAID (Nonselective) may increase the serum concentration of PEMEtrexed. Management: Patients with mild-to-moderate renal insufficiency (estimated creatinine clearance 45-79 mL/min) should avoid NSAIDs for 2-5 days prior to, the day of, and 2 days after pemetrexed. Consider therapy modification

Pentosan Polysulfate Sodium: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Specifically, the risk of bleeding may be increased by concurrent use of these agents. Monitor therapy

Pentoxifylline: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Porfimer: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Porfimer. Monitor therapy

Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the antihypertensive effect of Potassium-Sparing Diuretics. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the hyperkalemic effect of Potassium-Sparing Diuretics. Monitor therapy

PRALAtrexate: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of PRALAtrexate. More specifically, NSAIDS may decrease the renal excretion of pralatrexate. Management: Closely monitor for increased pralatrexate serum levels and/or toxicity if used concomitantly with an NSAID. Monitor for decreased pralatrexate serum levels with NSAID discontinuation. Monitor therapy

Probenecid: May increase the serum concentration of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Monitor therapy

Prostacyclin Analogues: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Prostaglandins (Ophthalmic): Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Prostaglandins (Ophthalmic). Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may also enhance the therapeutic effects of Prostaglandins (Ophthalmic). Monitor therapy

Quinolone Antibiotics: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the neuroexcitatory and/or seizure-potentiating effect of Quinolone Antibiotics. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of Quinolone Antibiotics. Monitor therapy

Rivaroxaban: NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Rivaroxaban. Specifically, the risk of bleeding may be increased. Management: A comprehensive risk to benefit assessment should be done for all patients before any concurrent use of rivaroxaban and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If combined, monitor patients extra closely for signs and symptoms of bleeding. Consider therapy modification

Salicylates: NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Salicylates. An increased risk of bleeding may be associated with use of this combination. NSAID (Nonselective) may diminish the cardioprotective effect of Salicylates. Salicylates may decrease the serum concentration of NSAID (Nonselective). Exceptions: Choline Magnesium Trisalicylate. Consider therapy modification

Salicylates: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Salicylates. Increased risk of bleeding may result. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of NSAID (Nonselective). NSAID (Nonselective) may diminish the therapeutic effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Management: Consider using alternative analgesics, when appropriate, and/or addition of a gastroprotective agent. Monitor patients closely for signs/symptoms of bleeding, and for evidence of diminished SSRI effectiveness with concurrent use. Consider therapy modification

Serotonin/Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of NSAID (Nonselective). Monitor therapy

Sodium Phosphates: May enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Specifically, the risk of acute phosphate nephropathy may be enhanced. Management: Consider avoiding this combination by temporarily suspending treatment with NSAIDs, or seeking alternatives to oral sodium phosphate bowel preparation. If the combination cannot be avoided, maintain adequate hydration and monitor renal function closely. Consider therapy modification

Tacrolimus (Systemic): Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Tacrolimus (Systemic). Monitor therapy

Talniflumate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Tenofovir Products: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Tenofovir Products. Management: Seek alternatives to these combinations whenever possible. Avoid use of tenofovir with multiple NSAIDs or any NSAID given at a high dose. Consider therapy modification

Tenoxicam: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Avoid combination

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: May enhance the nephrotoxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may diminish the therapeutic effect of Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics. Monitor therapy

Thrombolytic Agents: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Thrombolytic Agents. Monitor therapy

Tipranavir: May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Tositumomab and Iodine I 131 Tositumomab: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Tositumomab and Iodine I 131 Tositumomab. Specifically, the risk of bleeding-related adverse events may be increased. Monitor therapy

Treprostinil: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents. Bleeding may occur. Monitor therapy

Urokinase: Agents with Antiplatelet Properties may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Urokinase. Avoid combination

Vancomycin: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents may increase the serum concentration of Vancomycin. Monitor therapy

Verteporfin: Photosensitizing Agents may enhance the photosensitizing effect of Verteporfin. Monitor therapy

Vitamin E (Systemic): May enhance the antiplatelet effect of Agents with Antiplatelet Properties. Monitor therapy

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): NSAID (Nonselective) may enhance the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. Consider therapy modification

Test Interactions

False-positive urinary bilirubin (using diazo tablet test)

Adverse Reactions

1% to 10%:

Central nervous system: Dizziness (3% to 9%), headache, nervousness

Dermatologic: Pruritus, skin rash

Endocrine & metabolic: Fluid retention

Gastrointestinal: Abdominal cramps, abdominal distress, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, duodenal ulcer (with bleeding or perforation), dyspepsia, flatulence, gastric ulcer (with bleeding or perforation), gastritis, heartburn, nausea, vomiting

Hematologic & oncologic: Hemorrhage

Hepatic: Increased liver enzymes

Otic: Tinnitus

<1% (Limited to important or life-threatening): Acute renal failure, agranulocytosis, allergic rhinitis, anemia, angioedema, aseptic meningitis, auditory impairment, blurred vision, bone marrow depression, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac failure, confusion, conjunctivitis, cystitis, depression, drowsiness, dyspnea, epistaxis, erythema multiforme, gastrointestinal ulcer, hallucination, hemolytic anemia, hepatitis, hepatotoxicity (idiosyncratic; Chalasani 2014), hot flash, hypertension, insomnia, leukopenia, peripheral neuropathy, polydipsia, polyuria, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, stomatitis, tachycardia, thrombocytopenia, toxic amblyopia, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria, xerophthalmia

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Serious cardiovascular thrombotic events:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use.

Mefenamic acid is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

Serious gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration, and perforation:

NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events, including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients and patients with a prior history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Anaphylactoid reactions: Even in patients without prior exposure anaphylactoid reactions may occur; patients with "aspirin triad" (bronchial asthma, aspirin intolerance, rhinitis) may be at increased risk. Contraindicated in patients who experience bronchospasm, asthma, rhinitis, or urticaria with NSAID or aspirin therapy.

• Cardiovascular events: [US Boxed Warning]: NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious (and potentially fatal) adverse cardiovascular thrombotic events, including MI and stroke. Risk may occur early during treatment and may increase with duration of use. Relative risk appears to be similar in those with and without known cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease; however, absolute incidence of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events (which may occur early during treatment) was higher in patients with known cardiovascular disease or risk factors and in those receiving higher doses. New onset hypertension or exacerbation of hypertension may occur (NSAIDs may also impair response to ACE inhibitors, thiazide diuretics, or loop diuretics); may contribute to cardiovascular events; monitor blood pressure; use with caution in patients with hypertension. May cause sodium and fluid retention; use with caution in patients with edema. Avoid use in heart failure (ACCF/AHA [Yancy, 2013]). Avoid use in patients with recent MI unless benefits outweigh risk of cardiovascular thrombotic events. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time, consistent with individual patient goals, to reduce risk of cardiovascular events; alternate therapies should be considered for patients at high risk.

• CNS effects: May cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, and other neurologic effects which may impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (eg, operating machinery or driving).

• Gastrointestinal events: [US Boxed Warning]: NSAIDs cause increased risk of serious gastrointestinal inflammation, ulceration, bleeding, and perforation (may be fatal); elderly patients and patients with history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding are at greater risk for serious GI events. These events may occur at any time during therapy and without warning. Avoid use in patients with active GI bleeding. Use caution with a history of GI ulcers, concurrent therapy known to increase the risk of GI bleeding (eg, aspirin, anticoagulants and/or corticosteroids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), advanced hepatic disease, coagulopathy, smoking, use of alcohol, or in the elderly or debilitated patients. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time, consistent with individual patient goals, to reduce risk of GI adverse events; alternate therapies should be considered for patients at high risk. When used concomitantly with aspirin, a substantial increase in the risk of gastrointestinal complications (eg, ulcer) occurs; concomitant gastroprotective therapy (eg, proton pump inhibitors) is recommended (Bhatt, 2008).

• Hematologic effects: Platelet adhesion and aggregation may be decreased; may prolong bleeding time; patients with coagulation disorders or who are receiving anticoagulants should be monitored closely. Anemia may occur; patients on long-term NSAID therapy should be monitored for anemia. Rarely, NSAID use has been associated with potentially severe blood dyscrasias (eg, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, aplastic anemia).

• Hepatic effects: Transaminase elevations have been reported with use; closely monitor patients with any abnormal LFT. Rare (sometimes fatal) severe hepatic reactions (eg, fulminant hepatitis, hepatic necrosis, hepatic failure) have occurred with NSAID use; discontinue immediately if clinical signs or symptoms of hepatic disease develop or if systemic manifestations occur.

• Hyperkalemia: NSAID use may increase the risk of hyperkalemia, particularly in the elderly, diabetics, renal disease, and with concomitant use of other agents capable of inducing hyperkalemia (eg, ACE-inhibitors). Monitor potassium closely.

• Renal effects: NSAID use may compromise existing renal function; dose-dependent decreases in prostaglandin synthesis may result from NSAID use, reducing renal blood flow which may cause renal decompensation (usually reversible). Patients with impaired renal function, dehydration, hypovolemia, heart failure, hepatic impairment, those taking diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and the elderly are at greater risk of renal toxicity. Rehydrate patient before starting therapy; monitor renal function closely. Long-term NSAID use may result in renal papillary necrosis and other renal injury.

• Skin reactions: NSAIDs may cause potentially fatal skin adverse events including exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN); may occur without warning; discontinue use at first appearance of skin rash (or any other sign of hypersensitivity).

Disease-related concerns:

• Asthma: Contraindicated in patients with aspirin-sensitive asthma; severe and potentially fatal bronchospasm may occur. Use caution in patients with other forms of asthma.

• Coronary artery bypass graft surgery: [US Boxed Warning]: Use is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Risk of MI and stroke may be increased with use following CABG surgery.

• Hepatic impairment: Use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; dosage adjustments may be necessary due to extensive hepatic metabolism. Patients with advanced hepatic disease are at an increased risk of GI bleeding with NSAIDs.

• Renal impairment: Avoid use in patients with preexisting renal disease and in patients with advanced renal disease; monitor renal function closely if therapy must be initiated.

Concurrent drug therapy issues:

• Drug-drug interactions: Potentially significant interactions may exist, requiring dose or frequency adjustment, additional monitoring, and/or selection of alternative therapy. Consult drug interactions database for more detailed information.

Special populations:

• Elderly: Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious GI, cardiovascular, and/or renal adverse events. Use with caution; initiate dose at the lower end of the dosing range.

Other warnings/precautions:

• Surgical/dental procedures: Withhold for at least 4 to 6 half-lives prior to surgical or dental procedures.

Monitoring Parameters

CBC, chemistry profile, occult blood loss, and periodic liver function tests; renal function (urine output, serum BUN and creatinine); signs or symptoms of GI bleeding; blood pressure.

Pregnancy Considerations

Adverse events have not been observed in animal reproduction studies. NSAID exposure during the first trimester is not strongly associated with congenital malformations; however, cardiovascular anomalies and cleft palate have been observed following NSAID exposure in some studies. The use of an NSAID close to conception may be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Nonteratogenic effects have been observed following NSAID administration during the third trimester including myocardial degenerative changes, prenatal constriction of the ductus arteriosus, fetal tricuspid regurgitation, failure of the ductus arteriosus to close postnatally; renal dysfunction or failure, oligohydramnios; gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation, increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis; intracranial bleeding (including intraventricular hemorrhage), platelet dysfunction with resultant bleeding; pulmonary hypertension. Because they may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, use of NSAIDs late in pregnancy should be avoided (use after 31 or 32 weeks gestation is not recommended by some clinicians). The chronic use of NSAIDs in women of reproductive age may be associated with infertility that is reversible upon discontinuation of the medication.

Patient Education

• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)

• Patient may experience heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or flatulence. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of abdominal ulcers (severe abdominal or back pain; black, tarry, or bloody stools; vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; or weight gain or abnormal swelling), signs of bleeding (vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; hematuria; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; abnormal vaginal bleeding; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any severe or persistent bleeding), signs of kidney problems (urinary retention, hematuria, change in amount of urine passed, or weight gain), signs of severe cerebrovascular disease (change in strength on one side is greater than the other, difficulty speaking or thinking, change in balance, or vision changes), signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), signs of high potassium (abnormal heartbeat, confusion, dizziness, passing out, weak, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling feeling), shortness of breath, excessive weight gain, swelling of arms or legs, angina, tachycardia, severe headache, severe dizziness, passing out, severe loss of strength and energy, tinnitus, mood changes, depression, severe abdominal pain, vision changes, severe back pain, or signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin [with or without fever]; red or irritated eyes; or sores in mouth, throat, nose, or eyes) (HCAHPS).

• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.

Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.

Hide