Meloxicam

1 What is Meloxicam?

Brand: Mobic, Vivlodex

Generic: Meloxicam

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing inflammation and pain-causing hormones in the body. It is used for the treatment of pain and inflammation commonly experienced by individuals with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Before and after treatment, be sure to thoroughly follow the doctor’s advice to avoid any side effects. Meloxicam should only be taken in the recommended dosage and not for long durations.

Meloxicam comes from the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory class of drugs. It is known to reduce swelling caused by lower levels of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that causes inflammation in the body. Meloxicam can also be used for the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children above the age of two.

The oral form of meloxicam is a tablet that is available as either a generic or under the brand name Mobic. Apart from the tablet, meloxicam is also available in capsules and an oral liquid suspension. The capsule form is only available under the brand name Vivlodex, whereas the oral liquid suspension is available under the brand name Mobic. The generic drugs are usually less expensive, but in certain cases, they may not be available in all strengths.

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2 Meloxicam notes and recommendations

  • Prolonged use of meloxicam can lead to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, which can be fatal.
  • Do not take high doses of meloxicam without a doctor’s recommendation.
  • Avoid using the medicine if you are about to undergo or have gone through heart bypass surgery, called CABG, or coronary artery bypass graft.
  • Meloxicam should be avoided by those with bleeding issues, such as stomach or intestinal bleeding, as these can be life-threatening. There are no warning signs for these conditions; they can happen all of a sudden in adults.
  • If you experience certain symptoms such as slurred speech, vision trouble, chest pain, weakness, or shortness of breath, it is best to get emergency help right away.
  • Symptoms pertaining to stomach bleeding include tarry or bloody stools, excessive coughing, vomiting blood, and “coffee ground” vomit.
  • Do not drink alcohol during treatment, as it can lead to an increased risk of stomach bleeding.
  • Women undergoing fertility treatments or who are trying to get pregnant should not take meloxicam, since it can cause a delay in ovulation.
  • Meloxicam is not recommended for children below the age of two.

3 Before using

  • Meloxicam can be found in many medicines, hence, you should talk to your doctor before taking any cold, pain, or allergy medicines.
  • Before taking any medicine, be sure to check the label to see if the medicine contains any NSAIDs, such as aspirin, naproxen, ketoprofen, or ibuprofen.
  • As mentioned earlier, meloxicam can lead to an increased risk of a life-threatening heart attack or stroke, especially if the individual takes the medicine longer than recommended or at a higher dose.
  • Even those who have not had a heart attack or stroke can be at risk during the course of treatment, so take it with caution.
  • Let the doctor know if you are allergic to meloxicam or any of its ingredient, or if you are allergic to any food, medicine, or any other substances.
  • Inform the doctor in advance if you have been taking any medications, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, as well as any vitamins, dietary supplements, or herbs.
  • Let the doctor know if you ever had an asthma attack or any kind of severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or another NSAID.
  • Let the doctor know if you have any medical conditions, such as asthma, liver and/or kidney problems, any heart-related disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding, a history of stroke, heart attack, or blood clotting problems, or if you are on dialysis.
  • Let the doctor know if you are pregnant or planning to conceive, since taking meloxicam in the last trimester can cause harm to the unborn baby.
  • Meloxicam can pass into breast milk, thus causing harm to the nursing baby, so inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

4 Usage and dosage

Take meloxicam as prescribed by the doctor or check the details of its use and dosage on the medicine label. It is up to the doctor to change the dosage to ensure that it provides the best results. The doctor will consider various factors before determining the dosage and how long to take it, including age, the severity of the medical condition, any history of or current illness, and the body’s response to treatment. The doctor will initially look to provide the lowest dose that would be effective in treating the medical condition.

Meloxicam can be taken with or without food. In the case of the oral suspension liquid, shake it well before using. Also, be sure to measure the dose with the help of the dosing syringe that comes with the medicine, or use a special dose measuring spoon.

Dosage

The generic oral tablet is available in strengths of 7.5mg and 15mg.

The Mobic brand of oral tablet is available in strengths of 7.5mg and 15mg as well, whereas the oral liquid suspension is available in 7.5mg or 5ml. The Vivlodex oral capsule is available in strengths of 5mg and 10mg.
Dosage for individuals with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is as follows:

  • Adults: The initial dose starts at 7.5mg per day, but the doctor can increase it to 15mg per day if needed.
  • Children ages two to seventeen: The dosage is decided by the doctor based on the weight of the individual.
  • dosage for treating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is as follows:
  • Children ages two to seventeen: Initial doses start at 0.125mg per kg of the child’s body weight, to be taken once every day. The maximum dose is 7.5mg per day. The oral liquid suspension is generally preferred for small children.

If meloxicam is being given to a child, check with the doctor about any changes in the child’s weight, as the dosage of meloxicam is based on that number. If this medicine is to be used for a long duration, the doctor will recommend frequent medical tests. Store this medicine at room temperature away from light, heat, and moisture. When not in use, the bottle’s lid should be closed tightly and kept out of the reach of children.

If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember, but if it is time for the next dose, avoid taking the missed one, or else it can lead to an overdose.

During the course of meloxicam, avoid drinking alcohol, since it increases the risk of stomach bleeding. Also, avoid taking aspirin while taking this medicine.

5 Side effects and drug interactions

The common side effects of meloxicam are stomach pain or upset, nausea, gas, dizziness, vomiting, heartburn, flu-like symptoms, constipation, symptoms pertaining to a cold, and diarrhea. Possible allergic symptoms include sneezing, wheezing, stuffy nose, hives, swelling of the tongue, lips, throat, and face, and trouble breathing.

These symptoms are generally temporary and mild and go away in a couple of days; however, if they become severe or remain for a long time, it is best to bring them to the doctor’s attention. In the case of any allergy symptoms, reach out to the doctor immediately rather than waiting for them to settle down. The doctor can look to adjust the dose in such instances.

If one complains of heart problems, such as a stroke or heart attack, go to the doctor. The symptoms pertaining to heart problems include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, pain in the chest that spreads to the shoulders or jaw, slurred speech, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing.

If you experience any of the below side effects, you should immediately stop using the medicine and go to the doctor:

  • Liver disorder symptoms, such as itching, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, pain in the upper stomach, jaundice symptoms like yellowing of the skin and eyes, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, and clay-colored stools
  • Shortness of breath, even while carrying out only mild work or exertion
  • Rapid weight gain or swelling of the body
  • Signs of anemia or low red blood cell symptoms, such as the skin turning pale, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, lightheadedness, increased heart rate, and getting tired easily, even after carrying out light work
  • Initial signs of skin rash, even if it is mild to start
  • Symptoms pertaining to stomach bleeding, such as coughing up blood, bloody and tarry stools, and vomit the color of coffee
  • Severe skin reactions, such as swelling of the tongue and face, fever, a burning sensation in the eyes, pain in the skin followed by changes in skin color like red or purple-colored skin rashes, mostly in the upper body and face, which very often lead to skin blistering and peeling off
  • Kidney-related disorders with symptoms such as no urination or less urine than normal, increased heart rate, difficulty or pain while urinating along with a burning sensation, feeling fatigued or tired, and shortness of breath.
  • Symptoms of stroke including dizziness, numbness, weakness in the face, legs, arms, or one side of the body, vision trouble either in one or both eyes, loss of coordination or finding it difficult to balance or walk, trouble speaking properly, and headaches that tend to become severe
  • A rise in blood pressure leading to symptoms such as dizzy spells, dull headaches, and nose bleeds.

Drug Interactions

The oral tablet form of meloxicam is known to interact with certain medicines, herbs, and vitamins, which you may be taking during the treatment course. This can cause harm to the body or prevent it from working the way it should. Hence, to avoid any such drug interactions, you should inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as any vitamins, herbs, supplements, and so on. Below is a list of possible drug interactions with meloxicam:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Meloxicam should not be taken along with certain NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, and indomethacin, since it can lead to bleeding, stomach problems, and ulcers.
  • Drugs that lower potassium levels, such as sodium polystyrene sulfonate or Kayexalate, if taken along with meloxicam, can lead to severe damage to certain parts of the intestine and can be life-threatening. Avoid taking the oral liquid suspension along with these medicines.
  • Blood thinners or anticoagulants, such as warfarin, ticlopidine, rivaroxaban, and clopidogrel can lead to a high risk of internal bleeding.
  • Drugs taken for rheumatoid arthritis conditions, such as cyclosporine, if taken along with meloxicam, can increase the negative side effects on the kidneys. This tends to be worse if one is suffering from dehydration.
  • Drugs taken for heart problems or blood pressure, such as diuretics or water pills like hydrochlorothiazide, if taken along with meloxicam, may not work as well to lower blood pressure or remove excess water from the body. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, and angiotensin II receptor blockers, if taken along with meloxicam, may not work as well to decrease blood pressure. If any of these medicines are taken along with meloxicam, they can cause damage to the kidneys.
  • Bipolar disorder drugs, such as lithium, if taken along with high levels of meloxicam, can lead to high levels of lithium in the blood. This can then cause other symptoms such as increased reflexes, upset stomach, feelings of confusion, uncontrollable muscle movements, and others.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like citalopram, or selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like venlafaxine can lead to an increased risk of bleeding.

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