Thursday, June 20, 2024

Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission issues safety alert for meftal painkiller

The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has issued a drug safety alert concerning the widely used painkiller mefenamic acid, commonly sold as Meftal. The Pharmacovigilance Program of India (PvPI) conducted a ‘preliminary analysis,’ revealing that mefenamic acid can trigger drug reactions leading to DRESS syndrome (Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms).

While mefenamic acid requires a prescription, it is extensively used by Indians for various purposes, including relieving menstrual pain, headaches, and muscle/joint pain, and is frequently administered to children during high fever. Brands like Meftal, Mefkind P, Ponstan, Mefanorm, and Ibuclin P are among the top products in this category.

DRESS syndrome is a severe allergic reaction that can be fatal, affecting about 10% of those experiencing this reaction. The IPC’s alert urges healthcare professionals and patients to monitor potential adverse reactions closely. However, some doctors note that DRESS syndrome is already a known rare side effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including mefenamic acid. While emphasizing individual variations in medication responses, experts stress the importance of awareness regarding potential side effects, even if they are rare.

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