Meloxicam, sold under the brand name Mobic, is a prescription drug used to treat pain and inflammation.
Meloxicam is prescribed to people who have tenderness, swelling, and pain caused by the inflammation of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid and idiopathic arthritis (JRA/JIA).
Meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), works by blocking the enzymes responsible for making prostaglandins, compounds that contribute to inflammation, especially joint inflammation.
By reducing the levels of prostaglandins, inflammation and other symptoms can be reduced.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved meloxicam in April 2000.
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals manufactures brand name Mobic, while other manufacturers make the generic form.
If you have had an asthma attack, hives, or other allergic-like reactions after taking aspirin or any other NSAID, you should not use meloxicam.
Be sure to let your doctor know if you have had any of those problems in the past.
Never use meloxicam right before or after undergoing a heart surgery called a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).
You also may not be a candidate for this drug if you’ve had ulcers, stomach bleeding, or severe kidney or liver problems.
Keep in mind that stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding can occur at any time during treatment with any NSAID, including meloxicam.
Be aware that stomach ulcers and bleeding can occur without warning symptoms, and may cause death.
The chance of developing a stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding increases with:
- Taking blood thinning medications such as corticosteroids and anticoagulants
- Longer use
- Older age
- Having poor health
Some people will have a warning of stomach bleeding in the form of burning stomach pain, black stools, or vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor.
It’s also possible to sustain liver damage by taking NSAIDS like meloxicam.
Warning signs of liver damage include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, appetite loss, itching, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), and dark urine.
The medication can also result in fluid retention and swelling, which may contribute to heart failure.
Meloxicam is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Long-term use may increase these risks.
To ensure your safety when taking this medicine, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- A history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot
- Heart disease, congestive heart failure, or high blood pressure
- A history of stomach ulcers or bleeding
- Liver or kidney disease
- A seizure disorder like epilepsy
- Polyps in your nose
- Tobacco smoking
You should speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using other cold, allergy, or pain medication, since drugs similar to meloxicam exist in many combination medicines.
If you’re taking meloxicam, carefully check the labels of other products you’re taking to see if they also contain an NSAID such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.
Taking too many NSAIDs can result in serious side effects, such as stomach ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, or cardiovascular problems.
Meloxicam and Pregnancy
Pregnant women are advised to avoid taking meloxicam, especially late in their pregnancy, unless their doctor has determined the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking meloxicam, since it may impair your fertility and/or harm an unborn child.
It’s unknown whether the medication will pass into breast milk.
Nonetheless, the drug should be avoided while breastfeeding, so tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to do so.
Never give meloxicam to a child under two years of age without first speaking to your doctor.
Meloxicam for Dogs and Cats
Meloxicam can be prescribed for for dogs and cats to manage their pain and inflammation.
In addition to arthritis pain, meloxicam may be prescribed to dogs for pain from surgery, dental procedures, cancer, or injuries.
Because of the increased risk of side effects in cats, meloxicam has limited use in cats and is generally only prescribed as a single dose.
Side effects can include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, and stomach ulcers.
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Meloxicam Side Effects
Patients taking meloxicam may experience a wide array of side effects, including these less serious conditions:
- Heartburn, diarrhea
- Bloating, gas, constipation
- Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting
- Dizziness, headache
If you notice any signs of anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat, seek emergency assistance right away.
Quit taking meloxicam and call your doctor right away if you have any of the following problems:
- Chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance
- Black, bloody, or tarry stools
- Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- Swelling or rapid weight gain
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
- Nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice
- Skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
- Severe skin reaction, accompanied by 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
- Other serious problems may occur that are not part of the list, so it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about all the side effects.
Provide a detailed list of all your medications to your doctor, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, along with vitamins and herbal supplements.
Meloxicam may increase the blood levels of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) by reducing the excretion of the drug by the kidneys. These increased levels could lead to lithium toxicity.
Meloxicam may reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure-lowering drugs.
If you combine meloxicam with methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) or aminoglycosides like gentamicin (Garamycin), your blood levels of the methotrexate or aminoglycoside may increase, leading to more methotrexate or aminoglycoside-related side effects.
Meloxicam increases the negative effect of cyclosporine on kidney function, while reducing the impact of furosemide (Lasix) and thiazide diuretics.
In addition, if you are taking oral blood thinners such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or clopidogrel (Plavix), you should avoid meloxicam because it also thins the blood. Excessive blood thinning could lead to bleeding.
Also, taking corticosteroids such as prednisone can also increase your bleeding risk.
Those with a history of asthma attacks, hives, or other allergic reactions to aspirin and other NSAIDS should avoid taking meloxicam.
If you take aspirin with this medicine, there could be an increased risk of developing a gastrointestinal ulcer, and meloxicam may reduce the effectiveness of aspirin.
People may increase their risk of getting stomach ulcers if they have more than three alcoholic beverages a day while using meloxicam or other NSAIDS.
Meloxicam may not work as well if you use cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid) and colesevelam (Welchol), since these drugs prevent its absorption from the intestines.
Finally, meloxicam contains sorbitol, and combining sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate) with sorbitol may cause fatal intestinal necrosis.
Therefore, it’s extremely important that you do not combine this medicine with Kayexalate.
Meloxicam and Alcohol
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking meloxicam, since it can increase the risk of stomach bleeding.
Generally speaking, the daily recommended dose of meloxicam is 7.5 mg.
Your doctor may increase the dosage to 15 mg.
Meloxicam should be taken exactly as prescribed, at the lowest dose possible for your treatment and for the shortest time needed.
Take meloxicam with a glass of water. Swallow the pill whole; don’t chew it or let it melt/dissolve in your mouth.
Take meloxicam with or without food. Taking it with food can help prevent an upset stomach.
Also, wait at least 30 minutes after taking meloxicam before lying down to help prevent an upset stomach.
It’s important to take this and other medication as prescribed. If you feel you have taken too much get emergency help immediately.
Signs of overdose may include asthma-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, and upper abdominal pain or burning sensation.
Missed Dose of Meloxicam
If you accidentally miss a dose of meloxicam, take it as soon as you remember.
If you don’t remember until the following day, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing routine.
Never take a double dose of meloxicam.