Safety alert against Meftal for period pain: Know the side effects of this painkiller

Think the next time you pop Meftal spas for menstrual cramps or any other pain as it can lead to a severe reaction, the government issued a warning recently. Know the side effects of Meftal spas.
Woman with meftal spas for period pain
Meftal spas has been used as a pain killer for period cramps. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 11 Dec 2023, 04:02 pm IST
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Have you ever taken Meftal spas to get relief from menstrual cramps? It is a common painkiller used for pain relief from period cramps. If you have been relying on this medicine to manage period pain, here’s a safety alert. The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) has issued an advisory stating that consumption of Meftal may put you at risk of severe reactions, and lead to many side effects.

IPC, in its advisory, has noted that this pill contains an active ingredient known as mefanamic acid, which can cause allergies. The news has come as an alarm to many women who have been using this over-the-counter pill as their go-to solution for relieving menstrual cramps. Here’s everything you need to know about the side effects of Meftal spas.

What does IPC say about the side effects of Meftal spas?

Meftal is a commonly used medication in Indian households, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis, menstruation cramps, moderate pain, inflammation, fever and dental pain. Although the medication is often consumed without a prescription for these problems, the Indian government has recently released a warning alerting medical professionals and patients to watch out for any negative effects of the meftal spas.

bottle with medicines
Meftal spas may not be the best medication for period cramps. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

A popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), meftal spas contains a component, mefanamic acid which can cause a severe allergic reaction known as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) syndrome, a severe allergic reaction. The drug safety alert was released on November 30, 2023 by the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC).

Healthcare professionals and patients have been urged to closely monitor the possibility of the side effects of the suspected drug. They have also issued reporting forms with the help of which consumers can report if they notice any side effects of any medication, including Meftal spas.

Also read: 7 completely natural ways to deal with severe period cramps

Side effects of Meftal spas: What is DRESS syndrome?

Dress syndrome stands for Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms. It is described as a severe and potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction to certain medications. The clinical symptoms of DRESS syndrome appear from 2-8 weeks after initiating the offending drug. It is generally classified by different types of skin rashes, fever, inflammation, and a rise in white blood cells called eosinophils, as reported by the study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

What are the symptoms of Dress syndrome?

DRESS syndrome is sometimes described as an unusual multisystem response to medication. This alludes to the fact that the illness may present itself with several symptoms. Although the symptoms can change, they usually appear a few days later, usually two to six weeks after the medication was started. While the common symptoms may affect you, some symptoms can vary from one individual to another.

girl lying down with fever
You may experience fever as a response to Meftal spas. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Common symptoms of DRESS syndrome include:

  • Eosinophilia: DRESS syndrome may lead to the presence of too many eosinophilias, which is a type of white blood cell that is involved in your body’s immune response.
  • Fever: Patients affected by DRESS syndrome usually get affected by a high fever.
  • Skin rashes: A typical rash caused by the DRESS syndrome may be itchy and red. It usually starts on the face and spreads to the body.
  • Atypical lymphocytosis: Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. It is generally triggered by a viral or bacterial infection.
  • Swollen lymph nodes: DRESS syndrome can cause swelling in your lymph nodes, so don’t let it go unnoticed.
  • Inflammation of internal organs: DRESS syndrome can trigger a lot of symptoms and lead to problems like inflammation of the liver, lungs, and more.

You should consult a healthcare professional in case you notice any symptoms indicating a reaction to the medication. Also, avoid consuming Meftal spas without the recommendation of a doctor.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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