Pain Home > Mefenamic Acid

Mefenamic acid is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of mild to moderate pain. The medicine comes in capsule form and works by blocking the effects of certain pain-causing hormones in the body. It is effective in relieving painful menstrual periods; decreasing uterine contractions; and reducing pain related to bone, muscle, or tendon injury and inflammation. Potential side effects include stomach pain, unexplained rash, and headache.

What Is Mefenamic Acid?

Mefenamic acid (Ponstel®) is a prescription medicine used for the relief of mild to moderate pain, including painful menstrual periods. The medication belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs for short.
(Click Mefenamic Acid Uses for more information, along with possible off-label uses.)

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, side effects can occur with mefenamic acid. Yet, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. If side effects do occur, in many cases, they are minor, which means they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
Common mefenamic acid side effects include but are not limited to:
Less common but serious side effects include:
  • Cardiovascular problems, including a heart attack or stroke
  • Stomach or intestine problems, including bleeding, ulcers, or a hole (known as a perforation)
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Rapid weight gain (see Ponstel and Weight Gain)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Vision problems
  • Allergic reaction
  • Unexplained rash.
These possible problems are shared with all NSAIDs and can lead to life-threatening complications or even loss of life.
(Click Side Effects of Mefenamic Acid to learn more, including other potentially serious side effects to look out for.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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