Generic Name: meloxicam, Oral tablet

Mobic

All Brands

  • Mobic
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for meloxicam

Oral tablet
1

Meloxicam is an oral medication used to treat pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

2

To help prevent side effects, take the lowest dose of meloxicam for the shortest time.

3

Common side effects include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. These specific effects may occur more often in children than adults.

4

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs may increase your risk of stomach problems, increased blood pressure, heart problems, and other conditions.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA Warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

Potentially fatal heart risk. This drug may increase your risk of developing a blood clot, heart attack, or stroke, which can be fatal. You’re at higher risk if you take this medication for long periods of time and if you have heart or blood vessel diseases.

Heart surgery risk. You shouldn’t take meloxicam for pain before, during, or after heart bypass surgery. This can increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Potentially fatal stomach problems. This medication may increase your risk of developing stomach and intestinal problems. These include bleeding, ulcers, and holes in your stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These effects can occur any time while you’re taking this drug. They may happen without any signs or symptoms. Adults aged 65 years and older are at higher risk of these stomach or intestinal problems.

Allergy warning

Don’t take meloxicam if you’ve had itchy skin, symptoms of asthma, or an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs. A second reaction could be much more severe.

May cause liver damage

This drug may affect your liver. Symptoms may include yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes and liver inflammation, damage, or failure. Your doctor may check your liver function while you take this drug.

Blood pressure warning

This medication may increase or worsen your blood pressure. This can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Your doctor may check your blood pressure while you’re taking meloxicam. Some medicines for high blood pressure may not work as well as they should when you’re taking meloxicam.

Drug Features

Meloxicam is a prescription medication. It comes in these forms: oral tablet, oral suspension, and a combination kit that includes the oral tablet and a pain-relieving topical gel. It’s also available in a generic version. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why It's Used

Meloxicam decreases inflammation and pain.

It’s approved to treat:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • juvenile arthritis in people aged 2 years or older

How It Works

Meloxicam belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs help reduce pain, inflammation, and fever.

It isn’t known how this medication works to decrease pain. It may help reduce swelling by lowering levels of prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance that usually causes inflammation.

SECTION 2 of 4

meloxicam Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with meloxicam include:

  • abdominal pain

  • diarrhea

  • indigestion or heartburn

  • nausea

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • itching or rash

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • heart attack. Symptoms may include:

    • chest pain or discomfort
    • trouble breathing
    • cold sweat
    • pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or area above your belly button 
  • stroke. Symptoms may include:

    • numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
    • sudden confusion
    • trouble speaking or understanding speech
    • vision difficulty in one or both eyes
    • difficulty walking or loss of balance or coordination
    • dizziness
    • severe headache with no other cause
  • stomach and intestinal problems, such as bleeding, ulcers, or tearing. Symptoms may include:

    • severe stomach pain
    • vomiting blood
    • bloody stools
    • black, sticky stools
  • liver damage. Symptoms may include:

    • dark urine or pale stools
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • not wanting to eat
    • pain in your stomach area
    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
  • increased blood pressure: Symptoms of extreme high blood pressure may include:

    • dull headache
    • dizzy spells
    • nosebleeds
  • water retention or swelling. Symptoms may include:

    • rapid weight gain
    • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • skin problems, such as blistering, peeling, or red skin rash

  • kidney damage. Symptoms may include:

    • changes in how much or how often you urinate
    • pain with urination
  • decreased red blood cells (anemia)

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Meloxicam doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea occur very often. Pain, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur more often in children than adults. Sometimes these side effects can cause more serious stomach problems.

Mild side effects may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go way.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

meloxicam May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Meloxicam can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medicines carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Potassium-lowering drug
  • sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate)

Combining this drug with meloxicam oral suspension can severely damage parts of your intestine, which can be fatal.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Examples are: 

  • ibuprofen
  • indomethacin
  • aspirin
  • naproxen

Meloxicam should not be taken at the same time as other NSAIDs because of severe stomach problems, ulcers, and bleeding.

Rheumatoid arthritis drug
  • cyclosporine

Combining these drugs may increase the negative effects cyclosporine has on your kidneys. Your risk is increased if you’re dehydrated.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • methotrexate

Meloxicam may cause methotrexate to build up in your body. This may increase side effects of methotrexate, such as decreased red blood cells, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and liver damage.

Anticoagulant, blood thinners
  • warfarin
  • clopidogrel
  • ticlopidine
  • rivaroxaban

Combining meloxicam with these drugs may cause severe bleeding in your stomach and intestines.

Antidepressants and anxiety drugs
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as citalopram
  • selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as venlafaxine 

Combining these drugs with meloxicam increases your risk of stomach bleeding, nosebleeds, and other bleeding.

Heart drugs

These include blood pressure medications.

  • angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers
    • These may not work as well to decrease blood pressure.
  • water pills (diuretics), such as hydrochlorothiazide.
    • These may not work as well to remove water or lower your blood pressure.

Combining these drugs with meloxicam can also cause kidney damage.

Bipolar disorder drug
  • lithium

Blood levels of lithium may increase when you take higher doses of meloxicam. This can cause upset stomach, confusion, increased reflexes or muscle movements that you can’t control, and other effects.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with heart or blood vessel diseases

This medication increases your risk of blood clots, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. It may also cause fluid retention, which is common with heart failure.

People with high blood pressure

This medication may make your blood pressure worse, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

People with stomach ulcer or bleeding

Meloxicam can make these conditions worse. If you have a history of these conditions, you have a higher chance of having them again if you take this medicine.

People with liver damage

Meloxicam can cause liver disease and changes in your liver function. It may make your liver damage worse.

People with kidney disease

If you take meloxicam for a long time, it may decrease your kidney function, making your kidney disease worse. Stopping this drug could reverse kidney damage caused by the drug.

People with asthma

Meloxicam can cause bronchial spasm and difficulty breathing, especially if your asthma gets worse if you take aspirin.

Women who are trying to get pregnant

Meloxicam can cause a reversible delay in ovulation. If you’re having a hard time getting pregnant or are getting tested for infertility, don’t take meloxicam.

Pregnant women

Meloxicam falls into one of two pregnancy categories, depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy.

Starting at 30 weeks of pregnancy, meloxicam is a category D pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies show a risk of adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. The benefits of taking the drug during pregnancy may outweigh the potential risks in certain cases. 

Up until week 30, this is a pregnancy category C drug. That means: 

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Speak with your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Meloxicam should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

For women trying to get pregnant: Meloxicam can cause a reversible delay in ovulation. If you’re having a hard time getting pregnant or are getting tested for infertility, don’t take meloxicam.

Women who are nursing

It isn’t known if meloxicam passes into breast milk. If it does, it could cause side effects in your child if you breastfeed and take meloxicam.

You and your doctor may decide whether you’ll take meloxicam or breastfeed.

For Seniors

If you’re aged 65 years or older, you may have a higher risk of side effects from meloxicam.

Allergies

Meloxicam can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include: 

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take meloxicam if you have asthma, runny nose, and nasal polyps (aspirin triad). Don’t take it if you’ve had itching, difficulty breathing, or an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAIDs.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take meloxicam (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Osteoarthritis
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 7.5 mg and 15 mg
Form: Oral Suspension
Strength: 7.5 milligram per 5 milliliter
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The initial dose is 7.5 mg taken once per day.
  • The dose may be increased to a maximum of 15 mg per day.
Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Hemodialysis: This drug isn’t removed in dialysis. Taking a usual dose of meloxicam while receiving hemodialysis may cause a build up of the drug in your blood. This could cause worsened side effects. The maximum daily dose for people aged 18 years and older and receiving hemodialysis is 7.5 milligrams per day.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 7.5 mg and 15 mg
Form: Oral Suspension
Strength: 7.5 milligram per 5 milliliter
Adult Dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • The initial dose is 7.5 mg taken once per day.
  • The dose may be increased to a maximum of 15 mg per day.
Special considerations

Hemodialysis: This drug isn’t removed in dialysis. Taking a usual dose of meloxicam while receiving hemodialysis may cause a build up of the drug in your blood. This could cause worsened side effects. The maximum daily dose for people aged 18 years and older and receiving hemodialysis is 7.5 milligrams per day.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 7.5 mg and 15 mg
Form: Oral Suspension
Strength: 7.5 milligram per 5 milliliter
Child Dosage (ages 2-17 years)
  • The oral liquid form of this drug may be preferred for small children.
  • Children’s dosage is based on weight.
  • The initial dose is usually 0.125 milligram per kilogram of body weight taken once per day.
  • The maximum dose is 7.5 milligrams per day.
Child Dosage (ages 0-1 years)

Dosage for children younger than 2 years hasn’t been established.

Special considerations

Hemodialysis: This drug isn’t removed in dialysis. Taking a usual dose of meloxicam while receiving hemodialysis may cause a build up of the drug in your blood. This could cause worsened side effects. The maximum daily dose for people aged 18 years and older and receiving hemodialysis is 7.5 milligrams per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Meloxicam comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed by your doctor.

If You Take Too Much

Taking extra meloxicam can cause the serious side effects. This may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and stomach bleeding. Overdosing on meloxicam can cause organ failure or serious heart problems. If you take or think you’ve taken too much meloxicam, get medical help right away.

What to Do If You Miss a Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can, However, if it’s just a few hours until your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one on time.

Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in serious side effects.

How Can I Tell if the Drug is Working?

You may be able to tell if this drug is working if you experience less pain and inflammation.

This may be a short-term or long-term medication.

You can take meloxicam with or without food

If it upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk.

Store this medication at room temperature: 68–77°F (20–25°C)

Make sure not to freeze the suspension. Keep this medication away from high temperature.

Keep the suspension container tightly closed.

Note: Keep your medications away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medicine:

  • Always carry it with you or in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this drug.
  • You may need to show your pharmacy’s preprinted label to identify the drug. Keep the original prescription-labeled box with you when traveling.

Clinical Monitoring

Your doctor may check your:

  • blood pressure
  • liver function
  • kidney function
  • red blood cell count to check for anemia

Insurance

Before they approve the prescription and pay for this drug, many insurance companies require prior authorization for the brand version and for use in children younger than 12 years old.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other medicines available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with Christina A. Petrykiw (UIC)

Medically reviewed by Zara Risoldi Cochrane (Creighton) on May 12, 2015

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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