Vijaya vs. Mefenamic Acid for Easing Dysmenorrhea Over

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The Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC), on December 7, 2023, issued a drug safety alert against painkillers containing mefenamic acid. It can trigger severe allergic reactions, including the DRESS (Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms) syndrome, which can seriously affect one’s internal organs and disrupt their function. 

Its symptoms further include skin rash, lymphadenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes), and blood abnormalities.

Analgesics containing this compound are widely used in India for relieving dysmenorrheamenstrual pains, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and among children for high fevers. This has led to prevalent unregulated overuse of the said drugs despite them being prescription medications. 

Modern medicine has started acknowledging Vijaya’s vast therapeutic benefits and holistic approach to easing conditions like dysmenorrhea and, especially, its efficacy and safety profile. 

Read ahead to find out more about mefenamic acid’s effects and how Vijaya can be a more reliable medicine for dysmenorrhea.

What Is Mefenamic Acid?

Mefenamic acid, aka anthranilic acid, is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) primarily used as a pain reliever. It further exhibits antipyretic (fever-reducing) and anti-inflammatory (swelling-reducing) properties. 

Mefenamic acid’s uses include the management of conditions like-

  • visceral pains
  • inflammation associated with fever and pains
  •  colic pain
  • fevers
  • abdominal spasms
  • flank pain due to kidney stones
  • menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps)

It is used as a prescription medicine for dysmenorrhea, as it prevents the production of compounds responsible for menstrual cramps, pain, and inflammation. 

In the medicine form, mefenamic acid is combined with dicyclomine hydrochloride in a 25:1 ratio. This salt relieves the contractions of the abdominal muscles, while the acid decreases pain and inflammation in the affected area. 

Too Good to Be True? Mefenamic Acid Side Effects

While this combination of salts can help manage dysmenorrhea and other painful conditions, its effects are short-lived, which requires the patients to increase their dosage of the prescribed medications. This rise in consumption over time leads to severe aftereffects on the body. Some of such mefenamic acid contraindications include:

  • Worsened abdominal pain
  • Infertility
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Acidity
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Reduced mucus production in the stomach
  • Gas or Bloating
  • Cloudy, painful, bloody, and/or painful urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dark coloured stools
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nose bleeding (in rare cases)

Other mefenamic acid side effects include shortness of breath, blisters (fluid-filled bubbles), rash, swelling, unusual bleeding (blood leakage), pale/yellow skin, yellowing of the eyes, etc. Furthermore, mefenamic acid can reduce blood flow to the kidneys, causing them to work harder, and heighten clotting tendency, which can cause attacks, strokes, and even heart failure

It can even impair vital organs/organ systems like the liver, along with the cardiovascular and digestive systems.

Drug Interactions and Effects On Women

Mefenamic acid can interact with certain medications and supplements to alter their function and cause harmful symptoms like-

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Imbalance in blood sugar levels
  • Sweating
  • Weakness
  • Unexplained weight gain/loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased bleeding and prolonged bleeding time

Mefenamic acid’s side effects in women can be even more drastic. Mefenamic acid dosage can prevent the rupturing of the ovarian follicles (responsible for fertilization) and thus, cause infertility. During pregnancy, it can decrease the blood supply from the mother to the fetus. If traces of mefenamic acid pass to the baby through the mother’s milk during breastfeeding, it can hurt the infant’s health as well! 

Understanding Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is experienced by nearly 90% of women during their reproductive age worldwide. When the muscles in the uterus contract to shed the uterine lining, they produce prostaglandins. This can cause pain and cramps, along with other symptoms like nausea, diarrhoea, dizziness, headache, and fatigue. 

Mild to moderate menstrual cramps and pain are normal symptoms. They typically begin the day before the period and subside within two to three days for most women.

But for some, the pain is so severe that it disrupts their everyday lifestyle. This condition can be of two kinds. Primary dysmenorrhea refers to recurrent throbbing/cramping period pain, in the lower abdomen, lower back, hips,  and/or inner thighs, with no distinguishable cause. This is the most common form of dysmenorrhea.

The pain starts one to three days before the period and subsides in two to three days after the onset of the period. It can either be intense or a dull, continuous ache.

Secondary dysmenorrhea is when painful periods happen due to an underlying medical condition or infection in the reproductive organs. It can begin several days before the period and last longer than typical menstrual cramps. Some conditions that can cause this include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, cervical stenosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, etc.

What Makes Vijaya An Effective Medicine For Dysmenorrhea?

While dysmenorrhea is such a prevalent and severely painful issue, the only available medical management options include harmful over-the-counter painkillers (opioids, NSAIDs, etc.) and hormonal contraception, which can be seriously detrimental to the system. This calls for safer, more reliable, and more efficacious therapeutic alternatives. Enter Vijaya.

A recent study has found that Vijaya is a potent medicine for dysmenorrhea as it can effectively manage severe or treatment-resistant dysmenorrhea symptoms. Experts from the University of British Columbia found that over 85% of women surveyed used Vijaya for easing menstrual pain, and nearly 90% of them found the herb effective.

In a 2021 study, endometriosis patients showed remarkable improvements in their symptoms. They found Vijaya to be highly effective for reducing pelvic pain, mood and behavioural issues, and gastrointestinal symptoms, associated with endometriosis. 

Another 2022 research conducted by the University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, reported that CBD (an important organic compound in Vijaya) is more reliable than conventional painkillers like NSAIDs. While these analgesics show troubling symptoms, Vijaya helps alleviate the central and peripheral pain among women with dysmenorrhea, while demonstrating high safety and efficacy.

Research further shows that Vijaya can ease conditions like endometriosis. 

How Does Vijaya Work on Dysmenorrhea?

The body contains ECS (endocannabinoid system), which is important in regulating menstrual health, fertility, pregnancy, and pain perception in the uterus. An imbalanced ECS can lead to chronic painful conditions like endometriosis and dysmenorrhea. The ECS functions through its numerous cannabinoid receptors spread across the body, which regulate all the important physiological and psychological functions.

Vijaya contains two crucial compounds, THC and CBD. On consuming this herb in the form of medications the THC in it goes and binds with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain that are responsible for pain signaling. CBD, on the other hand, helps relax the muscular tissues of the uterus. This reduces the overall menstrual pain perception and inflammation among dysmenorrhea patients.

As a result, this herb offers a holistic approach to attenuating conditions like dysmenorrhea without showing the harmful side effects of traditional pharmaceuticals. Contact Hempstreet to find out more about how you can leverage the potential of Vijaya to ease your dysmenorrhea symptoms safely and naturally.


1. Which is better for toothache, ibuprofen or mefenamic acid?

Prostaglandins is the compound that induces pain and inflammation in the system. Both mefenamic acid and ibuprofen target an enzyme that is responsible for producing prostaglandins. But ibuprofen works to a slower and lesser extent and hence takes longer to reduce pain, which is why more people prefer it to alleviate their pain. However, Vijaya is safer to use to combat toothache. 

2. Which is safer, ibuprofen or mefenamic acid?

Ibuprofen and mefenamic acid are strong NSAIDs, used to ease pain and inflammation. Both of them exhibit severe aftereffects on the body and can cause serious damage to the system in the long run. But compared to ibuprofen, mefenamic acid shows fewer side effects and drug interactions, which is why people tend to prefer it. To avoid such side effects plant based alternatives like vijaya are highly recommended to ease pain and inflammation. 

3. How does mefenamic acid stop bleeding?

Mefenamic acid activates and enables the platelets in the blood to aggregate (come together in a cluster) and tightens the muscles in the blood vessels (vasoconstriction). This promotes coagulation and slowly stops the blood flow. Since the blood flow is reduced, its resistance also increases, which can often lead to headaches, lightheadedness, and even high blood pressure.

4. How long does mefenamic acid take to work on dysmenorrhea?

Mefenamic acid typically requires around 24 hours to take full effect. It is usually preferred for short-term therapy. If used for mild to moderate pain in the body, its dosage lasts for less than a week. For period pain and menstrual cramps, the medication must not last longer than three to four days, as it can hamper the system. Vijaya starts working within an hour or two for pain management.

5. Does Mefenamic Acid have side effects?

Mefenamic acid can rarely induce serious  liver damage. Any of the following signs of liver damage require medical attention immediately: persistent nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach/abdominal discomfort, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine. This medication seldom causes severe allergic reactions.

6. Can mefenamic acid cause infertility ?

This medication may induce a delay in ovulation in women, affecting their capacity to produce children. Using this medication in the latter stages of a pregnancy can harm an unborn child.

7. What are the contraindications of mefenamic acid ?

Mefenamic acid is not recommended for individuals with active ulceration or chronic    inflammation of the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract, and it should be avoided in those with pre-existing renal illness. Treatment of perioperative discomfort during coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.

8. What is the dosage of mefenamic acid ?

This medication should be taken  only as prescribed by the doctor. Do not use it in larger doses, more frequently, or for longer than doctor has prescribed. Doing so may increase the risk of side effects.

9. What are the uses of Mefenamic Acid ?

Mefenamic acid is used to treat mild to moderate pain, especially menstrual pain (pain that occurs before or during the menstrual cycle). Mefenamic acid is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works by inhibiting the body’s production of the substance that causes pain, heat, and inflammation. However Vijaya or Cannabis is a better choice for menstrual pain. 

10. What is the best medicine for menstrual cramps?

Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, and others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve), taken on a daily basis beginning the day before a period is expected, can help manage cramping. Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also available. Cannabis or Vijaya is also a safe choice in menstrual cramps. 


Hempstreet is India's first and largest research to retail player in the medicinal cannabis space with a network of 60,000 ayurvedic practitioners across the country.

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