Consult Doctor Before Using Painkiller Meftal, Govt Body Warns Adverse Reaction

The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has issued an alert regarding the widely used painkiller Meftal. The commission has advised people to consult a doctor before taking the medication as it contains mefenamic acid, which can lead to adverse reactions such as DRESS syndrome. Meftal is commonly prescribed for menstrual cramps and rheumatoid arthritis.

An alert was sent out on November 30; ” Healthcare professionals, patients, and consumers are advised to closely monitor the possibility of the above adverse drug reaction (ADR) associated with the use of the suspected drug”.

When is Meftal prescribed?

Meftal, which is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and menstrual cramps. People with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhoea, low to moderate pain, inflammation, fever, and dental pain are given mefenamic acid as a painkiller.

ALERT: IPC Warns of Reactions to Meftal Painkiller Taken In Menstruations

What Is DRESS syndrome?

“The Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms DRESS Syndrome is a unique and severe idiosyncratic response to a medication, marked by a protracted onset period. It was linked to medications such as abacavir, allopurinol, and lamotrigine. Subsequently, it manifests through a diverse array of clinical symptoms, typically including fever, skin rash, lymphadenopathy, eosinophilia, and a spectrum of systemic manifestations ranging from mild to severe,” said Dr Sidhant Goel (The Hans Foundation, Nalagarh).

DRESS syndrome is a severe condition that can be life-threatening, with a mortality rate of around 10% in various studies. The main cause of DRESS syndrome is the use of antiepileptic medications such as phenytoin and Phenobarbital, which have an incidence rate of approximately 1 per 5,000 to 10,000 exposures.

Where to report?

People should report this kind of behaviour to the national coordination centre of the PvPI under the commission by filling out a form on the website or by calling the PvPI helpline at 1800-180-3024 or using the ADR PvPI app on their Android phone.

The Indian Pharmaceutical Council (IPC) is a separate body from the Ministry of Health that sets guidelines for all drugs made, sold, and used in India.