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Meloxicam

Generic Name: meloxicam (mel OKS i kam)
Brand Names: Anjeso, Mobic, Qmiiz OD, Vivlodex

Medically reviewed by Sophia Entringer, PharmD. Last updated on Jun 2, 2020.

What is meloxicam?

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.

Meloxicam is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in adults.

Meloxicam is also used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children who are at least 2 years old.

The Anjeso brand of meloxicam is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults.

Vivlodex is for use only in adults. Qmiiz is for adults and children weighing at least 132 pounds (60 kilograms).

Important information

Meloxicam can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, or problems with vision or balance.

Meloxicam may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults.

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of stomach bleeding such as black, bloody, or tarry stools, or coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol as they also increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, or pain medicine. Medicines similar to meloxicam are contained in many combination medicines. Check the label to see if a medicine contains an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.

Meloxicam can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Even people without heart disease or risk factors could have a stroke or heart attack while taking this medicine.

Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).

Meloxicam may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults.

You should not use meloxicam if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;

  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;

  • a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;

  • asthma;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • liver disease; or

  • fluid retention.

Taking meloxicam during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Meloxicam may cause a delay in ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). You should not take this medicine if you are undergoing fertility treatment, or are otherwise trying to get pregnant.

Meloxicam can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Talk to your doctor before breastfeeding while using this medicine.

Meloxicam is not FDA approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.

How should I take meloxicam?

Take meloxicam exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

Meloxicam oral is taken by mouth.

The injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.

You may take the oral medicine with or without food.

Remove an orally disintegrating tablet from the package only when you are ready to take the medicine. Place the tablet in your mouth and allow it to dissolve, without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves.

Your dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the form and strength your doctor prescribes.

Meloxicam doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers). Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

Store meloxicam tablets or capsules at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking meloxicam?

Avoid alcohol. Heavy drinking can increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Avoid taking aspirin while you are taking meloxicam, unless your doctor tells you to.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to meloxicam (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

Meloxicam side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to meloxicam: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);

  • swelling or rapid weight gain;

  • signs of stomach bleeding - bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems - little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;

  • low red blood cells (anemia) - pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or

  • severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common meloxicam side effects may include:

  • upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, heartburn;

  • diarrhea, constipation, gas;

  • dizziness; or

  • cold symptoms, flu symptoms.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect meloxicam?

Ask your doctor before using meloxicam if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • cyclosporine;

  • lithium;

  • methotrexate;

  • sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate);

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or "water pill" and ACE inhibitors; or

  • steroid medicine (such as prednisone).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with meloxicam, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use meloxicam only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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