Ulceration, inflammation, and hemorrhage of the upper gastrointestinal tract have been associated with the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, especially aspirin.1 Mefenamic acid is a relatively new antiinflammatory analgesic agent2 that has been thought to be remarkably safe from such gastrointestinal complications,3-9 although it has many of the physicochemical and pharmacologic properties of aspirin,2.10 and has been known to produce gastrointestinal ulceration in rats and monkeys when administered in very large doses.11.12 We describe a patient who developed an unusual bleeding ulcer in the third portion of the duodenum, duodenitis, and antral gastritis while receiving mefenamic acid.
A 46-year-old black woman was admitted to the Hospital of the Medical College of Pennsylvania on Oct 22, 1974, with melena and hematemesis. The patient had suffered from osteoarthritis of the spine for one year. Two weeks prior to admission, her physician prescribed mefenamic acid (Ponstel Kapseals),
Wolfe JA, Plotzker R, Safina FJ, Ross M, Popky G, Rubin W. Gastritis, Duodenitis, and Bleeding Duodenal Ulcer Following Mefenamic Acid Therapy. Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(8):923-925. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630080057017