Ponstel® is a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication. It is most commonly used to treat painful menstruation and excessive bleeding in female patients, but the drug may also be prescribed to help manage acute pain from injuries and other health problems. There are risks of potentially serious side effects when using Ponstel®, especially if it is taken in larger doses than prescribed or for extended periods of time. When it is used correctly, however, the majority of patients see significant improvements in their symptoms.
The active ingredient in Ponstel®, mefenamic acid, is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is not entirely understood how NSAIDs work, but they appear to block chemical signals in the body that would otherwise trigger inflammation, pain, and swelling. Ponstel® brings quick relief to the site of major injuries, such as broken bones and torn ligaments. When taken for menstrual pain, the drug eases cramps and bloating and reduces especially heavy blood flow.
Ponstel® is considered a high-strength medication, and doctors generally prescribe less potent drugs before deciding to try it. If other medications fail to bring relief, an initial dose of 500 milligrams may be given to see if it is effective. Patients who respond well to the initial dose are typically instructed to take 250 milligram doses every six to eight hours. Ponstel® is rarely prescribed for longer than one week at a time.
It is essential to follow the doctor's instructions exactly to avoid overdose and reduce the chances of major health complications. It is unlikely but possible to experience a heart attack or stroke after taking a high dose of Ponstel®. Patients who have pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or high cholesterol are at an increased risk of complications. A doctor usually assesses a patient's medical history and lifestyle habits in detail before deciding to prescribe the drug to limit risks.
Patients may experience minor side effects even if they are in generally good health. Common side effects include temporary headaches, dizzy spells, gas, and diarrhea. It is also possible to experience nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and loss of appetite. Ponstel® can potentially induce an allergic reaction in some patients that causes itchy skin hives and swelling in the face and airways. It is important to attend medical checkups during treatment and describe any adverse reactions that occur so the doctor can determine whether or not the medication is working properly.