Ponstan

  • Effectively treats period pain
  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID)
  • Works by soothing flaming agents in the body responsible for pain
  • Branded version of Mefenamic Acid
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What is Ponstan?

Ponstan is a derivative of anthranilic acid; the tablet is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) composed of ingredients which cure minor diseases or pains such as fever, inflammation, stiffness and swelling.

The medicine fights against the flaming agents present in the body, conclusively soothing the pain and inflammation that is caused by them. Because of this, Ponstan is commonly prescribed for women who suffer with painful and heavy periods.

You need a prescription to be able to buy Ponstan.

What is Ponstan used to treat?

Ponstan is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat a number of sometimes painful conditions. It is widely prescribed in the UK due to its effectiveness in being able to alleviate the pain caused by a wide range of problems.

Ponstan is often prescribed to relieve period pain in women. This commonly occurs when the muscle wall of the womb contracts more intensely than usual so the womb lining can shed. These contractions compress the blood vessels in the womb lining, which cuts off the usual supply of blood and oxygen to the womb, causing the womb tissues to release pain-triggering chemicals.

Aside from period pain, some of the other problems Ponstan can be used to treat include:

  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Back pain
  • Muscular and joint pain
  • Dental pain

Ponstan can be prescribed in various doses, but should always be taken at the dose your doctor has prescribed for you.

How does Ponstan work?

Ponstan contains mefenamic acid, which works to relieve pain by blocking the production of hormones called prostaglandins, which are released at the site of an infection or tissue damage. In the case of period pain, prostaglandins cause the contractions in your womb and can cause pain if too many are released.

By stopping the production of prostaglandins, the pain is reduced significantly. It will normally take between 2 and 4 hours for Ponstan to work. It is normally effective for up to 8 hours per dose.

How to take Ponstan

Take Ponstan in the dose your doctor has prescribed for you. Read the patient information leaflet which will come with your medication and ask your doctor for guidance if you are not sure.

Ponstan can be taken up to three times a day, do not exceed 1500mg (three 500mg tablets) in 24 hours. To relieve period pain, you will normally take it for between 2 and 4 days.

Take Ponstan tablets after a meal to avoid an upset stomach.

Swallow Ponstan tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew them.

Who can take Ponstan?

Ponstan is not suitable for all patients. If you have any doubt at all about whether this is a suitable medicine for you to take, you should speak to your doctor.

You are not advised to take this medicine if you suffer from any of the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Any nervous disorders such as seizures, anxiety, depression or schizophrenia
  • Blood disorders
  • A history of anaemia
  • Liver disease
  • You have recently had heart bypass surgery
  • Heart failure
  • You are allergic to mefenamic acid or any other ingredients in Ponstan
  • You have or have recently had any inflammatory stomach conditions
  • You are under 18
  • Asthma
  • Any kidney diseases
  • You have had a stroke

Please note, because Ponstan contains mefenamic acid, it is not advisable to take it if you are either pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.

You are not advised to drink alcohol while using this medicine. You should also speak to your doctor about combining Ponstan with herbal remedies such as green tea.

See the patient information leaflet for a full list of warnings.

Can you buy Ponstan over the counter?

No, Ponstan is a prescription-strength medicine, meaning it is not for sale over the counter.

Can you buy Ponstan online in the UK?

You can buy Ponstan online from Medicine Direct. However, as this is a prescription-only medicine (POM), you will need to complete an online consultation before you can order it from our online pharmacy. All you have to do is answer some questions about your medical history and condition for one of our registered prescribers to review. After they have confirmed that Ponstan is suitable for you to take, your order will be confirmed.

Order by 2pm for next day delivery.

To make sure you only take medication that is safe, never order any type of medicine online unless it is from fully regulated pharmacies like Medicine Direct. Visit our About Us page for more details.

Ponstan alternatives

Generic Mefenamic Acid 500mg tablets is also available to buy from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with one of our prescribers.

The generic version of Mefenamic Acid will work in the same way as Ponstan to relieve period pain and pain from other conditions.

Over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen can also provide effective pain relief from heavy periods.

Ponstan Dosage

Always read the patient information leaflet before taking any medicine. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure of anything.

Ponstan should be taken orally, with a glass of water. Different dosages may apply to different people.

Do not exceed the stated dose. Ponstan should be taken preferably with or after food. Medicine Direct does not supply Ponstan to children or anyone under the age of 18.

Is Ponstan a painkiller?


Ponstan contains the active ingredient mefenamic acid, which is classed as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This type of medicine works to relieve pain and inflammation.

Does Ponstan work like ibuprofen?


Ibuprofen and Ponstan are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and both work to relieve pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen can be bought over the counter to relieve a range of painful conditions caused by inflammation. Ponstan is only available on prescription.

How long does Ponstan take to work?


Ponstan may take between 2 and 4 hours to get to work fully. The effects of a 500mg dose generally lasts for around 8 hours.

Can I drink alcohol while I’m taking Ponstan?


You should not drink alcohol while taking Ponstan as it can interact with mefenamic acid. This can cause side effects and, in extreme cases, cause bleeding in your stomach and/or intestines.

How long does Ponstan last?


The pain-relieving effects of Ponstan can last for up to 8 hours.

Can I take it on an empty stomach?


You should take Ponstan after a meal, as this will help to avoid getting an upset stomach.

Is Ponstan as good as paracetamol?


Paracetamol is an effective painkiller medicine and can be used to relieve the pain associated with many of the same conditions Ponstan can treat. However, paracetamol does not relieve inflammation, so Ponstan is more suitable for some painful conditions caused by inflammation.

Can Ponstan make me tired?


Drowsiness and fatigue are potential side effects that can occur when you take an NSAID like Ponstan. If this occurs, you should not drive, cycle or operate any machinery until these side effects subside. Speak to your doctor if these side effects worry you or do not go away.

Can I take Ponstan for toothache?


Yes, Ponstan can be prescribed for dental pain like toothache, although over the counter medicines like ibuprofen are often the first port of call.

Will Ponstan make my period shorter?


No, Ponstan can help to alleviate period pain but it will not reduce how many days your period lasts for.

Ponstan Side Effects

As with all medicines, mefenamic acid tablets come with the risk of certain adverse effects.

Not everyone will experience undesirable effects from taking Ponstan, but you should contact your doctor if you experience any of the below problems while using it:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Wind
  • Feeling drowsy or dizzy
  • Decrease in appetite or loss of appetite all together
  • Nervousness
  • Difficulty in sleeping

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. For a list of more serious reactions, please refer to our Side Effects tab on this page. You should always refer to the patient information leaflet for the full list of undesirable effects.

Serious Side Effects

The main side effects of this medicine can be found on the main product page.

In rare cases, you may experience serious adverse effects from taking Ponstan. If any of these symptoms persist, you should contact your doctor immediately:

  • You have a change in your vision or blurred vision
  • You begin to feel depressed (gain weight, cannot sleep or concentrate, suicidal thoughts, fatigue)
  • You develop an infection (stiffness, weight loss, headaches, severe diarrhoea, loss of breath)
  • Liver problems (dark urine, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing skin)
  • You have changes in your hearing, such as loss of hearing or ringing of the ears
  • You become anaemic
  • You experience unusual bleeding
  • You have severe acid reflux
  • You suffer heartburn
  • You lose bladder control

In equally rare cases, you may experience severe side effects from taking mefenamic acid. You should seek medical help immediately if you suffer any of these symptoms; you may require treatment in hospital:

  • Breathing difficulties (wheezing, fast or irregular breathing, shortness of breath)
  • Chest or heart pains (this could be a sign of a heart attack)
  • Signs of meningitis
  • A skin rash which could be itchy, peeling, blistering, red or swollen
  • Swelling in your face, lips, tongue, mouth or throat

Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to use any medicine. If you have any concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact your doctor or pharmacist before you start to use this medication.

Ponstan Warnings and drug interactions

Certain drugs and medications may interact with mefenamic acid. Before you take Ponstan, you should inform your doctor if you are currently taking any other anti-inflammatory drugs.

You should also inform your doctor of any other prescription or non-prescription medicines you are currently taking; this includes herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

Speak to your doctor before you take mefenamic acid treatments if you are already using:

  • ASA
  • Cholestyramine
  • Beta-adrenergic blockers (such as atenolol or metoprolol)
  • Digoxin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Colestipol
  • Methotrexate
  • Ginseng
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Corticosteroids (such as prednisone, hydrocortisone or dexamethasone)
  • Potassium supplements
  • Any other NSAIDs
  • Ticlopidine
  • Warfarin
  • Tacrolimus
  • Certain serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as paroxetine or sertraline)

This list may not be exhaustive. You should read the patient information leaflet which will come with your order.

If you have any concerns or doubts at all, please check with your doctor before you start using this medication.



Ponstan Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Mefenamic Acid

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Reviewed bySonia Khan MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 08/09/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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