Popping painkillers with mefenamic acid could have adverse side effects, including drug reactions, rashes, hypersensitivity, and death in some cases.

Mefenamic acid, a common painkiller, is used to relieve menstrual pains, headaches, and muscle and joint pain, and also for children in cases of high fever. It is also used to treat hreumatoid arthiritis, oestoarthiritis, and dysmenorrhea.

The pharma standard body, in its preliminary analysis of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) from the PvPI database, revealed that mefenamic acid can lead to Drug Reactions with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) syndrome.

Typically, DRESS syndrome is an adverse reaction term that describes a hypersensitivity reaction with an estimated mortality of up to 10 per cent.

In a monthly drug safety alert notice issued by the pharma standard body Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), doctors and patients have been advised against the use of this painkiller, and to report immediately if adverse side effects are noticed.

The drug is sold under various brand names that include Meftal, Mefkind P, Ponstan, Mefanorm, and Ibuclin P, among others. These cannot be sold without prescriptions.

The Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPI) monitors and collects information about adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and adverse events associated with pharmaceutical products.

“Healthcare professionals, patients, consumers are advised to closely monitor the possibility associated with the use of suspected drug,” the advisory reads.