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Mefenamic Acid

Mefenamic Acid is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is used to treat moderate pain in adults and children of age 14 or above. Further, it is also used in the treatment of menstrual pain.

It is an anthranilic acid with anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic properties. It prevents the activity of the enzymes cyclo-oxygenase I and II that leads to decreased production of precursors of prostaglandins and thromboxanes. The decreased synthesis of prostaglandin by prostaglandin synthase is the reason for the therapeutic effects of Mefenamic acid. This acid also decreases the formation of thromboxane A2 synthesis, by thromboxane synthase and thus inhibits aggregation of the platelet.

Chemical Structure of Mefenamic Acid

The chemical name of mefenamic acid is 2-[(2, 3-dimethyl phenyl) amino] benzoic acid. In this anthranilic acid, one of the hydrogens bonded to nitrogen is replaced by a 2, 3-dimethylphenyl group.

Mefenamic Acid

Properties of Mefenamic Acid

  • It appears as a light yellow insoluble solid.
  • Its boiling point is 398 degrees Celsius.
  • Its melting point is 230 degrees Celsius.
  • Its molecular weight is 241.29 g/mol.
  • Its molecular formula is C15H15NO2

How to take Mefenamic Acid?

Mefenamic acid is available in the form of tablets that are taken orally. It is usually consumed with food for up to 1 week. However, its intake depends on the medical condition and treatment reaction. One may take the lowest possible effective dosage for the minimum required duration to reduce the chances of stomach bleeding and other side effects. Further, don't increase the dosage, take it more often and for a longer duration instead, but not more than 7 days at a time.


The intake of Mefenamic acid can increase the chances of stroke or heart attack. It should not be taken just before or after heart bypass surgery. Further, it can also lead to stomach or intestinal bleeding that can be life-threatening.

So, you should not use Mefenamic acid if you are allergic to it or have any of the following medical conditions:

  • An ulcer or bleeding in the stomach
  • A bowel disorder like ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney disease
  • A history of an asthma attack
  • Allergic to aspirin or an NSAD

Further, pregnant women should consult their doctors before taking it and it should not be used for longer than 7 days.

Mefenamic acid side effects

Stop taking Mefenamic acid and seek medical help if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flu
  • Skin rashes
  • Coughing up blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice
  • Little or no urination
  • Anemia ( low level of red blood cells)

Difference between Mefenamic acid and Paracetamol

Mefenamic Acid Paracetamol
It is an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drug, which is NSAID. It is a painkiller, used to reduce fever.
It works by reducing the hormones, which lead to inflammation and pain. It works by affecting the chemical messengers in the brain that controls body temperature.
It is used for a short duration to reduce mild to moderate pain including menstrual pain. It is generally used for treating headaches, menstrual, toothaches, backaches, etc.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation. Common side effects: Nausea, vomiting, pain and swelling.

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