Painkiller Meftal can have adverse reactions, government issues alert

The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) issued a drug safety alert about Meftal painkiller, stating that its constituent, mefenamic acid, can cause adverse reactions, including drug reactions with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome.

The mefenamic acid painkiller is prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhoea, mild to moderate pain, inflammation, fever and dental pain.

The commission, in its alert, said that a preliminary analysis of adverse drug reactions from the Pharmacovigilance Programme of India (PvPI) database revealed DRESS syndrome. DRESS syndrome is a severe allergic reaction caused by certain medicines. Its symptoms include skin rash, fever and lymphadenopathy, which can occur between two and eight weeks after taking the drug.

“Healthcare professionals, patients/consumers are advised to closely monitor the possibility of the above adverse drug reaction (ADR) associated with the use of the suspected drug,” according to the alert, issued on November 30.

“If such a reaction is encountered, people should report the matter to the national coordination centre of the PvPI under the commission by filing a form on the website – www.ipc.gov.in – or through android mobile app ADR PvPI and PvPI helpline number 1800-180-3024,” the release stated.

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