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Meloxicam Patient Tips

Medically reviewed on Sep 11, 2017 by C. Fookes, BPharm.

How it works

  • Meloxicam helps relieve pain and inflammation by blocking the effects of the enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2. This prevents prostaglandin synthesis (prostaglandins elevate body temperature and make nerve endings more sensitive to pain transmission).
  • Meloxicam belongs to a group of medicines known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Upsides

  • Effective for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • NSAIDs (including meloxicam) are considered first-line options for mild-to-moderate arthritis-type pain because at correct dosages they are effective, do not cause dependence and are readily available at a low cost.
  • Generic meloxicam is available.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Stomach-related side effects including indigestion, heartburn, and bleeding. People of an older age, taking other medicines that affect the stomach, or who drink more than 3 glasses of alcohol per day may be more at risk. Meloxicam is considered to have a low potential for stomach-related side effects compared with other NSAIDs.
  • Most NSAIDs have been associated with an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. The risk may be higher in patients with preexisting cardiovascular conditions and with higher dosages.
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with kidney disease, a history of stomach ulcers or other gastrointestinal disorders, with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, or following coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
  • May interact with some other medicines such as warfarin, SSRIs, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Meloxicam is effective for the short-term relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis; however, like other NSAIDs, it has the potential to adversely affect the stomach or heart and increase bleeding tendency.

Tips

  • Can be taken without regard to meals.
  • Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration of time.
  • Available as a suspension.
  • Response to different NSAIDs can vary so switching types (such as from meloxicam to naproxen) may improve response.
  • NSAIDs should not be used in the last 3 months of pregnancy; always ask your doctor before using any medication during pregnancy.
  • Avoid if you have a history of asthma or hives after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, like ibuprofen.
  • Combining with alcohol may increase the risk of stomach ulcer or bleeding.
  • Do not use this medicine in the setting of heart bypass surgery (CABG).
  • See a doctor immediately if you experience any difficulty with breathing, unexplained sickness or fatigue, loss of appetite, vision changes, fluid retention or abnormal bleeding.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Peak concentrations reached within 2 hours (capsule) and 4 to 5 hours (tablets). Meloxicam appears to be recycled in the liver so another peak is reached in 8 hours (capsule) or in 12-14 hours (tablet) after the initial dose.

References

Meloxicam [Package Insert]. Revised 06/2017. Zydus Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. https://www.drugs.com/pro/meloxicam.html

  • 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2018 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2017-09-11 03:34:43

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