What is Meloxicam Used For?

The primary use of meloxicam is for the reduction of inflammation and swelling and management of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in adults and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children.

Share This Post

Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can have a sizable impact on a person’s quality of life, as these patients deal with daily, chronic pain.

More than 1.3 million Americans are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, including both adults and children; the disease is estimated to affect about one percent of the population worldwide.

Osteoarthritis is much more common, affecting approximately ten percent of men and thirteen percent of women aged 60 and older, making it the most common joint disease and the most common cause of total hip and total knee replacements in the United States.

Patients hoping to find relief from the pain associated with both conditions may be prescribed a medication called meloxicam, which is used for the daily management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children and osteoarthritis in adults.

What Is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam is a generic prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Other NSAIDs include over the counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, but meloxicam is only available in a prescription form due to its high dosage, potency, and potential for serious side effects. Meloxicam comes in the form of an oral suspension, oral tablets, and oral capsules.

The brand name forms of meloxicam include Mobic, Vivlodex, and Meloxicam Comfort Pac, all of which have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

What Is Meloxicam Used For?

The primary use of meloxicam is for the reduction of inflammation and swelling and management of pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in adults and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children.

A brief explanation of the conditions treated with meloxicam and their associated symptoms can be found below.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Unlike other forms of arthritis, which occur as a result of overuse of joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the joints, eyes, lungs, heart, skin, and blood vessels as the body attacks itself.

People with rheumatoid arthritis experience painful swelling in the lining of the joints that often lead to bone erosion and joint deformity over time.

The inflammation found in the joints is also found in other parts of the body, where it can cause more damage. Rheumatoid arthritis can be physically disabling in its severe forms. Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is worse in the mornings or following periods of inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite


Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder, osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that protects the ends of the bones wears down over time.

Osteoarthritis is more likely to affect those with joint injuries, older adults, obese individuals, and people with other conditions that place increased stress on the joints.

Most people experience osteoarthritis in the knees, spine, hips, and hands, but it can affect and cause damage to any joint.

Osteoarthritis causes irreversible damage, but medications like meloxicam, as well as lifestyle changes, can help manage the pain caused by the condition. 

Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Grating, popping, or crackling sensation in affected joints
  • Tenderness in affected joints
  • Reduced flexibility in affected joints
  • Bone spurs forming around affected joints
  • Pain in affected joints during or after movement
  • Stiffness upon waking or after periods of inactivity
  • Swelling caused by soft tissue inflammation around the affected joint 

How Does Meloxicam Treat Pain?

Meloxicam tablets treat pain by reducing inflammation in the body.

Prostaglandins, which cause inflammation, pain, and fever in the body, are produced in response to injury or illness; NSAIDs reduce the production of prostaglandins.

In addition to causing inflammation, pain, and fever, prostaglandins also help the kidneys function normally, protect the stomach lining and intestines from stomach acid, and aid in blood clotting by activating blood platelets. Two types of enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, produce prostaglandins, so NSAIDs work by blocking the action of one or both of these enzymes.

Both COX-1 and COX-2 create prostaglandins that produce inflammation, pain, and fever, but the beneficial prostaglandins that protect the stomach and intestinal lining and promote blood clotting are only produced by COX-1.

Non-selective NSAIDs block the action of both COX-1 and COX-2, which also stops the prostaglandins from protecting the stomach and intestinal lining; this is the reason why many NSAIDs are known to cause gastrointestinal side effects.

Partially selective NSAIDs like meloxicam only block COX-2, which helps to prevent some gastrointestinal side effects

What Are the Benefits of Using Meloxicam?

Some NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, are linked to an increased risk of heart attack when taken for an extended period of time, but meloxicam is less risky for people with heart conditions than other NSAIDs.

Meloxicam has fewer effects on the blood flow to the kidneys than other NSAIDs, which helps make it safer on the kidneys and better suited for use by patients with limited kidney function.

Unlike other pain management medications, meloxicam is not a narcotic and not an opioid, which helps reduce the likelihood that patients will become addicted to the medication or abuse it and also makes the drug a suitable choice for people with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction who need to avoid medications that could cause dependence.

Meloxicam is produced by many different manufacturers in a variety of forms, making it highly affordable and covered by most insurance plans. 

How Do I Know What Dose of Meloxicam I Should Take?

Adults with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis usually take an initial dose of 7.5 mg of meloxicam once per day.

Once your healthcare professional determines how your body reacts to meloxicam, the dose may be increased up to a maximum maintenance dose of 15 mg taken once per day. In order to minimize the occurrence of side effects, the lowest possible effective dose should be used.

In children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who are two years of age or older, the maximum dose of meloxicam is 7.5 mg taken once per day.

Patients should communicate with their doctor or healthcare provider to ensure that they are taking the proper dosage of meloxicam. 

What Side Effects Are Associated with Meloxicam?

Meloxicam has similar side effects to other NSAIDs, but adverse effects may be more noticeable because the prescription drug medication is taken at a higher dose.

Common side effects of meloxicam include:

  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Upset stomach and abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Gas and bloating
  • Weight gain 
  • Edema
  • Constipation

Make sure to seek medical help if your side effects are serious, persistent, or get worse. Unlikely, but potentially serious side effects associated with meloxicam include:

  • Allergic reactions like skin rash and skin reactions like itching, hives, blistering, or swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • Blood clots, as indicated by:
    • Severe, sudden headache
    • Pain, swelling or warmth in the arm or leg
    • Changes in vision
    • Chest pain or back pain
    • Trouble speaking
    • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg
  • Liver disease, as indicated by:
    • Light-colored stools
    • Loss of appetite
    • Dark urine that is yellow or brown
    • Flu-like symptoms such as sore throat 
    • Weakness, exhaustion, and tiredness
    • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
    • Nausea
    • Right upper stomach pain
  • Internal or external bleeding, as indicated by:
    • Stomach pain
    • Heartburn
    • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
    • Spitting up blood or brown material
    • Red spots on the skin or other unusual bruising
    • Bloody or black, tarry stools
    • Red or dark brown urination
    • Unusual bleeding from the eye, gums, or nose
  • Stroke, as evidenced by:
    • Trouble speaking or understanding
    • Severe headaches
    • Changes in vision
    • Confusion
    • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of balance or coordination
    • Trouble walking
    • Trouble breathing/shortness of breath

What Drug Interactions Do I Need to Be Aware of?

Patients taking other NSAIDs, including aspirin, should not take meloxicam due to the combined risk factors and side effects of the medications.

Similarly, because meloxicam increases the risk of bleeding, particularly from the stomach, it should not be taken with other drugs that can cause an increase in bleeding, such as blood thinners or antiplatelet drugs. 

Other medications known to interact with meloxicam include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate
  • Warfarin
  • Blood pressure medications including angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin-converting enzyme drugs (ACE inhibitors), beta-blockers
  • Corticosteroids like prednisone
  • Pemetrexed
  • Lithium
  • Diuretics

Who Should Not Take Meloxicam?

It is important to make your doctor aware of your complete medical history, including any other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications that you may be taking, before receiving a prescription for meloxicam, as some people may not be able to safely take the medication.

Providing them with all of your drug information is what helps them provide the best medical advice and to consider possible side effects. If you have heart failure, kidney problems, or kidney disease, you should not take meloxicam.

Additionally, meloxicam should not be used just before or after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG surgery). 

People who have a history of the following conditions should talk to their physicians about their medical history before taking meloxicam:

  • Systemic mastocytosis
  • Anemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Bleeding of the stomach or intestines
  • Visible water retention
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Pregnancy
  • Increased risk of bleeding due to a clotting disorder
  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Increased cardiovascular event risk
  • Aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Blood clot
  • Stomach or intestinal ulcer
  • Gastrointestinal rupture
  • Tobacco smoking

References, Studies and Sources:








medically reviewed and fact checked
Sesame Care

Find the best price for great doctors and specialists

  • Thousands of doctors and specialists
  • $13,000,000+ saved by patients
  • 95% patient satisfaction
  • 4.3 on TrustPilot

Popular Destinations



Telehealth Reviews


Pharmacist Membership

About Us

Pharmacy Near Me

Recent Articles

Meloxicam Side Effects: What Are They?

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis deal with daily, chronic pain that can have a serious impact on their quality of life. Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 1.3 million Americans, including both adults and children, and about one percent of the population worldwide. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States, affecting approximately ten percent of men and thirteen percent of women aged 60 and older, and is the most common cause of total hip and total knee replacements in the United States. Meloxicam is a medication available for daily management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children and osteoarthritis in adults, but it is not without side effects.  There’s a lot to know about meloxicam, including its benefits, risks, uses, and costs, before asking your doctor about the medication.

Read More »

What Is Humira Used For?

Humira is one of the world’s best selling and most popular brand name drugs, with global sales for the medication reaching nearly 20 billion dollars in 2018. Of that 20 billion dollars, more than 13 billion dollars’ worth of the medication was purchased in the United States alone. What is it that makes Humira such a popular drug? For one, Humira is something of a wonder drug, as it is approved for the treatment of many different moderate to severe autoimmune and immune-influenced conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. The drug works by treating the cause of chronic inflammation that plagues people with many autoimmune disorders, which means it has many different applications. The drug has been in use for nearly 20 years and has been extensively studied, so it is a popular choice for doctors and patients alike because it is well-tolerated by most patients and considered safe for many people to use. So, what is Humira used for?

Read More »

Share On:

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Inner Knee Pain: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

The inner knee is a joint where the femur meets the tibia. It's one of many joints in your body, and can sometimes be

Aleve vs Ibuprofen: What’s the difference?

We all have muscle aches and pains every once in a while, and sometimes, the pain gets to be enough that we need to

Questions About Pain on the Left Side of My Body

Do you have pain on the left side of your body? You're not alone. The left side of your body is home to many

Cove Migraine Review: Are These Medications Effective?

Cove is a telemedicine company that provides personalized treatment for migraine sufferers, but are their medications effective? We provide you with an honest review.

Meloxicam Side Effects: What Are They?

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis deal with daily, chronic pain that can have a serious impact on their quality of life.

Aleve vs Advil: What are the Main Differences?

Although Aleve and Advil are available over the counter, they’re not without risk. Recent studies have concluded that approximately 15 percent of American adults

To Take or Not to Take: Osteoarthritis Supplements

Are you one of the over 30 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis? Or maybe you know someone who is? Do you or someone you

Meloxicam Side Effects: What Are They?

People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis deal with daily, chronic pain that can have a serious impact on their quality of life.

What Do Muscle Relaxers Do?

If you’ve ever struggled with lower back pain, had certain types of surgery, or are affected by certain chronic muscular conditions like multiple sclerosis,

What’s The Best Over the Counter Migraine Medicine?

We’re revealing the best over the counter migraine medicine to help you in your selection. Read on for more details.

Narcan: The Nasal Spray that Could Save Your Life

Opioids (sometimes called narcotics) are a type of medicine that decreases the feelings of pain. Healthcare providers may prescribe opioids to lessen pain from:

New Treatment Option for Acute Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches affect 12% of the population in the United States. During an acute migraine headache, symptoms can get severe enough where it becomes

Ocular Migraine Treatment: What You Need to Know

If you’ve experienced the pain of a migraine, you know how strainful it can be. Find out the best ocular migraine treatment and more

To Take or Not to Take: Osteoarthritis and Supplements

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, sometimes referred to as “wear and tear” and affects over 30 million Americans. There are a variety of

What Is Plantar Fasciitis? The Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment Options

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that can cause pain and discomfort. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs

Is Hydrocodone an Opiate?

Hydrocodone is an opiate that presents a high risk of abuse and addiction. Commonly prescribed for the short term management of pain, hydrocodone can

Joint Pain Medication: Common Side Effects

Being aware of the potential side effects associated with joint pain medication can help you decide which drug is right for you. Learn more

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone: The Difference Explained

Hydrocodone and oxycodone are prescription opioid painkillers that are effective medications to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is more likely to cause side

Gabapentin Side Effects: What Are They?

Gabapentin is in a class all its own when it comes to medications – literally. The medication belongs to a class of drugs named

What are Rebound Headaches?

Rebound headaches, also called medication overuse headaches, can occur if you take certain pain relievers above their recommended dosages. Learn about what causes rebound