Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to treat pain and inflammation in various conditions, such as arthritis, gout, menstrual cramps and injuries. It belongs to a class of drugs called oxicams, which are closely related to piroxicam. Meloxicam is also known by its brand names Mobic, Metacam, Anjeso and others.
But how much do you know about meloxicam? How does it work, how should you use it, what are the possible side effects and interactions, and who should avoid it? In this blog post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about meloxicam and provide you with useful information to help you use this medication safely and effectively.
What is meloxicam and how does it work?
Meloxicam is a synthetic drug that was developed in the 1980s by a pharmaceutical company called Boehringer Ingelheim. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 for the treatment of osteoarthritis (a type of arthritis caused by wear and tear of the joints) and rheumatoid arthritis (a type of arthritis caused by inflammation of the joints). Later, it was also approved for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (a type of arthritis that affects children) and pain management. In 2020, an intravenous form of meloxicam (Anjeso) was approved for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in adults.
Meloxicam works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is responsible for producing prostaglandins, which are chemical messengers that mediate pain, fever and inflammation in the body. By blocking COX-2, meloxicam reduces the production of prostaglandins and thus relieves pain and inflammation. Meloxicam is more selective for COX-2 than COX-1, which means that it has less effect on the production of prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining and maintain blood clotting. This makes meloxicam less likely to cause stomach ulcers and bleeding than other NSAIDs that inhibit both COX-1 and COX-2.
How should you use meloxicam?
The dose and frequency of meloxicam depend on your age, weight, medical condition and response to treatment. You should always follow the instructions on the label or the prescription from your doctor. Do not take more than the recommended dose or for longer than advised.
The usual adult dose of meloxicam for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis is 7.5 to 15 mg once a day as needed. The maximum daily dose is 15 mg. For children aged 2 years and older with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the dose is based on their weight and is usually given as an oral suspension once a day as needed. The maximum daily dose is 0.375 mg per kg of body weight.
The usual adult dose of meloxicam for pain management is 30 mg once a day as an intravenous injection over 15 minutes as needed. The maximum daily dose is 30 mg.
You can take meloxicam with or without food, but taking it with food may help prevent stomach upset. Do not crush, chew or break the tablets; swallow them whole with a glass of water. If you are using an oral suspension of meloxicam, shake the bottle well before each use and measure the dose carefully with a dosing syringe or spoon. Do not use a household spoon, as you may not get the correct dose.
If you miss a dose of meloxicam, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed one.
If you take too much meloxicam, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, bleeding, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, low blood pressure, slow or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing and coma.
What are the possible side effects and interactions of meloxicam?
Meloxicam is generally well tolerated by most people, but it can cause some side effects in some cases. The most common side effects are:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or indigestion
- Headache, dizziness or fatigue
- Swelling of the hands, feet or ankles
- Skin rash, itching or hives
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
Most of these side effects are mild and temporary and can be reduced by taking meloxicam with food or milk. However, some side effects can be serious and require medical attention. These include:
- Allergic reactions, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention)
- Severe skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis (a rare but serious condition that causes blistering and peeling of the skin and mucous membranes)
- Heart problems, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat or heart attack
- Stroke problems, such as weakness, numbness, slurred speech or vision changes
- Liver problems, such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) or liver failure
- Kidney problems, such as decreased urine output, blood in urine or kidney failure
- Bleeding problems, such as bruising easily, nosebleeds, bleeding gums or gastrointestinal bleeding
If you experience any of these side effects while taking meloxicam, stop taking it and contact your doctor right away.
Meloxicam can also interact with other drugs and affect their effectiveness or increase their side effects. Some of the drugs that can interact with meloxicam are:
- Alcohol and other NSAIDs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen), which can increase the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding when taken with meloxicam
- Anticoagulants (blood thinners), such as warfarin or heparin, which can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with meloxicam
- Antihypertensives (blood pressure medications), such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which can reduce their effectiveness when taken with meloxicam
- Diuretics (water pills), such as furosemide or hydrochlorothiazide, which can increase the risk of kidney problems when taken with meloxicam
- Lithium (a drug used to treat bipolar disorder), which can increase its levels and toxicity when taken with meloxicam
- Methotrexate (a drug used to treat cancer or rheumatoid arthritis), which can increase its levels and toxicity when taken with meloxicam
This is not a complete list of all the possible interactions of meloxicam. Before taking meloxicam, tell your doctor about all the medications, supplements and herbal products you are using or planning to use. Do not start, stop or change the dose of any drug without your doctor’s approval.
Who should avoid meloxicam?
Meloxicam is not suitable for everyone. Some people may have an allergy or intolerance to meloxicam or any of its ingredients. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to meloxicam or any other NSAID, do not take meloxicam.
Some medical conditions may also make meloxicam unsafe or ineffective for you. You should not take meloxicam if you have:
- A history of severe allergic reactions to any antibiotics
- A history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure or blood clots
- A history of stomach ulcers, bleeding or perforation
- A history of liver or kidney problems
- A history of asthma, nasal polyps or aspirin-induced allergy
You should also avoid meloxicam if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Meloxicam can harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. It can also pass into breast milk and affect the nursing baby. Talk to your doctor before taking meloxicam if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.
Meloxicam is not recommended for children under 2 years of age. The safety and effectiveness of meloxicam in this age group have not been established. Meloxicam can cause serious side effects in children, such as allergic reactions, skin reactions, liver problems, kidney problems and bleeding problems.
How to use meloxicam safely and effectively?
Meloxicam can be a useful medication for treating pain and inflammation in various conditions, such as arthritis, gout, menstrual cramps and injuries, but it should be used with caution and care. Here are some tips to help you use meloxicam safely and effectively:
- Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.
- Do not exceed the recommended dose or duration of treatment.
- Take meloxicam with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
- Avoid alcohol and other NSAIDs while taking meloxicam, as they can increase the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding.
- Monitor your blood pressure and kidney function while taking meloxicam, as it can increase your blood pressure and affect your kidney function.
- Watch for signs of side effects or interactions and report them to your doctor promptly.
- Keep meloxicam out of reach of children and pets.
- Store meloxicam in a cool, dry place away from heat and light.
Meloxicam is a common anti-inflammatory medication that can help treat pain and inflammation in various conditions, such as arthritis, gout, menstrual cramps and injuries. However, it can also cause side effects and interactions that can be serious or even life-threatening. Therefore, it is important to use meloxicam wisely and responsibly. Always follow the instructions on the label or the prescription from your doctor. Do not take more than the recommended dose or for longer than advised. Tell your doctor about all the medications, supplements and herbal products you are using or planning to use. Do not take meloxicam if you have an allergy or intolerance to it or any of its ingredients. Do not take meloxicam if you have certain medical conditions that make it unsafe or ineffective for you. Do not take meloxicam if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give meloxicam to children under 2 years of age. Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Take meloxicam with food or milk to prevent stomach upset. Avoid alcohol and other NSAIDs while taking meloxicam, as they can increase the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding. Monitor your blood pressure and kidney function while taking meloxicam, as it can increase your blood pressure and affect your kidney function. Watch for signs of side effects or interactions and report them to your doctor promptly. Keep meloxicam out of reach of children and pets. Store meloxicam in a cool, dry place away from heat and light.
I hope this blog post has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and have a nice day! 😊