Pontalon is known as mefenamic acid as its general name and it is named a few others by other manufacturers. It is a type of anti-inflammatory drug and belongs to a class known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is taken orally or by mouth in tablet form.
What does mefenamic acid do? Commonly, mefenamic acid is given to patients with migraine, arthritis, pain related to heavy menstrual bleeding and also as postoperative pain relief.
There is a black box warning made by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for mefenamic acid. The purpose of this warning is to alert the doctor regarding the dangerous effects of mefenamic acid in some conditions. Therefore some individuals are contraindicated from taking this drug to avoid its serious effects if consumed.
There are some conditions where a person need to take a precaution prior taking mefenamic acid, such as:
- Having the risk of cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking)
- Heart failure
- Respiratory problems
- Liver impairment
- Renal impairment or failure
- First and second trimester of pregnancy; mefenamic acid could cause harm to the fetus
- Lactating mothers
- Elderly; elderlies have higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, liver and renal failure
- Taking other medications at the same time; this is important and you need to inform your doctor any medications you are taking as some drugs may interact with mefenamic acid
- Having history of allergy to any other NSAIDs, aspirin, mefenamic itself and any other allergies
If you have any risk factors mentioned above, please let your doctor know so that your doctor can provide you with another alternative to mefenamic acid.
Back to the original question, what condition should you not take mefenamic acid? The list below are some conditions or events with a brief explanation where a person should not take it.
Mefenamic acid can put you at risk of having blood clot, heart attack and stroke. If you already have heart failure, this may worsen the condition. You should avoid taking mefenamic acid before having a coronary bypass surgery as taking the medication might increase the risk of having a heart attack and stroke.
Renal (kidney) impairment:
Apart from heart disease, individuals with renal impairments should avoid mefenamic acid as well. This is due some conditions can get worse when mefenamic is consumed. Some of the conditions are dehydration, having heart failure, kidney failure and taking certain medications. Be sure to note and tell your doctor if you are taking mefenamic acid and notice if there is a change in frequency of passing urine.
Liver damage or failure:
Mefenamic could damage your liver and worsen your liver condition if you are having a pre-existing liver condition. If you are experiencing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, fatigue or yellowish discoloration of your skin (jaundice), please seek medical attention immediately.
If you have stomach or peptic ulcer problems, you should avoid mefenamic acid and ask your doctor to switch it to another alternative. Mefenamic acid increases the risk of bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract and if failed to be detected, this could lead to complications such as hypovolemic shock, organ dysfunction and even death.
These are some general conditions that someone should avoid taking mefenamic acid to treat their condition. You can consult and discuss with your doctors for an alternative drug that can be used to treat your condition. Other than that, you may also refer to the information leaflet provided inside the medication box and further clarify with your doctor.