Meloxicam Side Effects

Meloxicam (imprinted with 512) is a popular prescription only pain killer. It can be used, especially in conditions such as osteoarthritis, urinary stones, rheumatoid arthritis, and menstrual cramps. Main side effects are burning stomach pain and ulceration. Meloxicam acts by blocking both the Cyclo Oxygenase 1 and Cyclo Oxigenase 2 enzymes. It is available as tablets.

What the doctor should know before prescribing Meloxicam?

If you have a bleeding disorder, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, history of NSAID allergy (including aspirin) or bronchial asthma, you should discuss that with your doctor before taking this drug. If you have fever for more than two days doctor will do several blood tests to identify a cause before starting Meloxicam.

What the patient should know before taking?

This medication should be taken as a whole with a full glass of water and it should not be crushed to minimize side effects. This medication can be taken with meals, milk or with aluminum/magnesium hydroxide tablets to minimize side effects. You should not share this medication with others.

Because Meloxicam is a prescription only medication and doctor will give lowest possible dose to minimize side effects. Sometimes doctor will co prescribe anti acid medications with Meloxicam to minimize gastric side effects.

If you develop severe gastritis, bleeding from the gastro intestinal tract, and passing dark color stools then you should get emergency medical help.

What are the common side effects?

Burning stomach pain, gastro intestinal discomfort, nausea, bleeding and gastric ulceration are the commonest. Patients who have a history of stomach ulceration and bleeding must inform that to the doctor before writing prescription.

 What are the side effects that are not common?

Some patients report headache, dizziness, and nervousness. Certain patients can have depression, drowsiness, vertigo, and hearing disturbances. Photosensitivity and hematuria can occur with some patients. Fluid retention may occur. This can present as edema in lower extremities. Blood pressure can be elevated. Kidney failure is a known side effect of Meloxicam, especially in long term use. Very rarely patients can get hepatic damage and Stevens Johnson’s syndrome.

Some patients can have life threatening complication called anaphylactic shock. This is characterized by sudden faintish-ness, low blood pressure, wide spread hives, shortness of breath and pallor. In an anaphylactic shock drug should be discontinued immediately, and patient should seek immediate medical help. These life threatening complications are common in patients with aspirin and other NSAID allergy.

 *Sources*

British National Formulary

AHFS Drug Information