If your doctor prescribed you the medication meloxicam (brand name: Mobic™), you may have some questions about the medication, how it works, and how to take it. This is a general guide to meloxicam but, as always, your pharmacist is the expert on your medications including how meloxicam may interact with other medications you are taking. If you have any questions about meloxicam that haven’t been answered in this article, your health care team (including your pharmacist) is your best source of information about your medications.
What is meloxicam?
Meloxicam is a medication that falls in the classification of NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID).1,2 This means that the medication relieves inflammation in the body, but does not contain corticosteroids and doesn’t have the same types of side effects that corticosteroids have.
Meloxicam is used to treat conditions that cause inflammation in the body, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis.1 It may be used to treat ankylosing spondylitis or gout as well.1,2 It may also be prescribed to treat other conditions not listed here; these conditions can be discussed with your doctor or pharmacist.1
How do I take meloxicam?
Meloxicam is usually taken as a tablet once daily.1 It should be taken at the same time every day with a full 8-ounce glass of water. Meloxicam can be taken with food, as many NSAIDs can cause stomach upset.2 Meloxicam can also come as an orally disintegrating tablet, which is placed on the tongue and allowed to disintegrate, or as a liquid suspension. If your doctor prescribes the liquid suspension, be sure to shake it well prior to taking a dose to distribute the medication evenly throughout the liquid.1
Do not take more meloxicam than your doctor prescribed to you.1 If you don’t feel like the medication is working as well as you expected, talk to your doctor about your dose, or other medication options. You should never increase your dose of any medication without discussing it with your doctor first.
Do not take other NSAIDs such as naproxen (Aleve), ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) or aspirin if you are taking meloxicam.1 If you have a condition that requires you to take another NSAID, you should talk with your doctor before taking meloxicam.
If you miss your regular dose of meloxicam, you should take your medication as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for your next dose.2 Do NOT double your dose of meloxicam to “make up for” the missed dose.
What are some side effects of meloxicam?
The most common side effects of meloxicam include:1,2
- Stomach upset (including nausea and gas)
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Sore throat
Other, more serious, side effects may occur. If these happen, you should stop taking meloxicam immediately and contact your doctor. These side effects include:1,2
- Rash (especially with skin blisters or peeling)
- Itching or swelling (especially of the face, mouth, and throat)
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive tiredness or lack of energy
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Mood or mental changes
- Excessive urination
- Yellow color of eyes or skin
- Urine that is dark, cloudy, bloody or discolored
- Stomach pain (especially in the top right of the abdomen)
- Persistent nausea, vomiting and/or weight loss
- Unexplained weight gain or swelling of the hands, feet, face or abdomen
- Flu-like symptoms
In addition, the FDA has issued a warning on all NSAIDs. Patients who take NSAIDs are at a greater risk for cardiovascular events such as a heart attack or stroke than patients who don’t take these medications.1 You should let your doctor know if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, a history of cardiac events, or family members who have had heart attacks or strokes.
Remember, your physician has put you on this medication because they believe that the benefits of this medication outweigh the risks.2 If you have side effects that are persistent or interfere with your day-to-day living, you should talk with your doctor about these and see if there is a better alternative medication for your needs. You should always make sure that your doctor knows about your complete medical history. For example, if you see a specialist, such as a rheumatologist, make sure they know about your general health conditions. Also, try to get your medications from the same pharmacy as much as possible. This minimizes the chances that your doctor or pharmacist will not catch a drug interaction.
As always, your health care team, including your physician and pharmacist, is your best source of information about medications and their effects. Be sure to ask them any questions you have about your medication and how it may affect any condition you have.