Potential Risks of Meftal: What Consumers and Doctors Should Know

▴ Potential Risks of Meftal
By staying informed, consulting healthcare professionals, and reporting any adverse reactions, we can ensure safer use of these medications.

Meftal, a widely used painkiller, has recently come under scrutiny. The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has issued a safety alert regarding Mefenamic acid, the primary ingredient in Meftal. This alert highlights the need for consumers and healthcare professionals to be aware of potential adverse drug reactions (ADRs) associated with this medication.

Meftal is a painkiller commonly used to treat menstrual cramps and rheumatoid arthritis. Its main active ingredient, Mefenamic acid, belongs to a class of drugs known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are known for their effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation.

The IPC issued a safety alert based on data from the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI). This alert points to cases of Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) syndrome linked to Mefenamic acid. DRESS syndrome is a rare but severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

DRESS syndrome is a severe allergic reaction that occurs in about 10% of individuals taking certain medications. Symptoms include fever, skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, blood abnormalities, and involvement of internal organs. These symptoms typically appear two to eight weeks after taking the drug. Due to its severity, it’s crucial to monitor any potential side effects and report them immediately.

To ensure patient safety, it is essential to report any adverse reactions to Meftal. Reports can be submitted through the IPC website (www.ipc.gov.in), the ADR PvPI Android mobile app, or the PvPI Helpline Number 1800-180-3024. Reporting helps authorities gather data and make informed decisions about drug safety.

In response to the alert, Blue Cross Laboratories, the manufacturer of Meftal and Meftal-Spas, emphasized that the safety, efficacy, and quality of their products remain high. They clarified that the alert is meant to encourage vigilance among doctors and patients regarding potential ADRs. The company noted that DRESS syndrome, while serious, is a very rare event and is a known ADR for many medications, including paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Apart from DRESS syndrome, Mefenamic acid has been linked to other potential side effects:

1. Cardiovascular Risks: Studies suggest a possible link between NSAIDs, including Mefenamic acid, and an increased risk of cardiovascular events, particularly in people with pre-existing heart conditions.

2. Renal Complications: There is also concern about the impact of Mefenamic acid on kidney function, which warrants careful monitoring and evaluation.

Meftal Spas, which combines Mefenamic acid and Dicyclomine, is one of the most popular painkillers in India. It is used to relieve menstrual symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and gastric issues. It is also sometimes used for mild to moderate pain and inflammation.

Because Meftal Spas is available over the counter without a prescription, it is often used without medical supervision. This accessibility can lead to misuse or overuse, increasing the risk of side effects.

To use Meftal and other NSAIDs safely, consider the following tips:

1. Consult a Doctor: Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions.

2. Follow Dosage Instructions: Adhere to the prescribed dosage and duration of use to minimize the risk of side effects.

3. Monitor for Side Effects: Be vigilant about any unusual symptoms and report them to a doctor immediately.

4. Avoid Self-Medication: Do not use over-the-counter medications without medical advice, especially for prolonged periods.

The recent safety alert for Meftal highlights the importance of being informed and cautious about the medications we use. While Mefenamic acid is effective for treating pain and inflammation, it carries potential risks that need careful monitoring. By staying informed, consulting healthcare professionals, and reporting any adverse reactions, we can ensure safer use of these medications.

The IPC’s alert serves as a reminder of the critical role of vigilance in medication usage. Both patients and healthcare providers must work together to ensure that the benefits of medications like Meftal outweigh the risks, leading to better health outcomes and safer use of painkillers.

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About the Author

Sunny Parayan

Hey there! I'm Sunny, a passionate writer with a strong interest in the healthcare domain! When I'm not typing on my keyboard, I watch shows and listen to music. I hope that through my work, I can make a positive impact on people's lives by helping them live happier and healthier.

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