Mefenamic acid is used to treat inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This medication reduces inflammation but does not contain steroids; instead, it blocks the production of natural body substances that increase inflammation. By reducing inflammation, the medication tends to reduce pain, tenderness and stiffness associated with arthritis.
Patients who have heart disease or who have a family history of heart disease should not take this medication. Mefenamic acid causes greater risk of heart attack or stroke, especially in patients who already have heart problems. In particular, patients who have had a coronary bypass within the last two years should not take this medication.
Patients on this medication are also at greater risk of developing serious stomach problems, including ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding or perforation of the stomach lining. Patients should contact their doctors immediately if they have severe stomach pain or blood in their stools while on this medication.