Doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the case management of inflammation and pain. Such medications are increasingly used for treating osteoarthritis and rheumatic disorders. But, do some of the NSAIDs – such as meloxicam – cause weight gain? Read on for more details.
Meloxicam is prescribed for treating inflammation or pain triggered due to the incidence of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis among adults. This drug can reduce stiffness of muscles, relieve pain and swelling. This drug features as part of standard treatment plan for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also administered to children if they have medical condition called juvenile arthritis. However, its administration onto children is restricted to those who are at least 3 years of age and older. This medicine falls under a category of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). It may be noted that this drug may also be used for disorders not listed here.
It is administered as per your doctor’s plan, backed by prescriptions. Dosages can vary based on each patient’s medical condition and cure plan. Patients are advised to follow doctor’s instructions. Also, read the directions printed on the drug’s label. In general, meloxicam is consumed in doses of 7.5 mg over a single dose every day. This is the dosage form during the initial phase. In the maintenance phase, a dose of 10 mg may be administered, again as a single dose every day. Maximum dosage can reach upto 15 mg per day, consumed over a single dose.
What are the precautions needed?
Intake of meloxicam may make you dizzy. So stay away from driving, operating a machine or in general, stay off activities that demand intensive physical activity as well as mental alertness. If the patient is pregnant or is nursing a baby, it has to be informed to your treating doctor. Avoid taking this drug if the patient has any known allergies to this medication.
Needful care must be taken and a doctor needs to be consulted for patients with medical conditions such as liver problems, respiratory disorders, high blood pressure, hypersensitivity to NSAIDs, medical history of cardiac ailments or strokes, etc. You are advised to check with their prescribing doctor for other needful precautions.
Likely interactions of meloxicam with other drugs
Meloxicam can interact with diuretic medicines (also known as water pills), ACE inhibitors (like lisinopril, etc), angiotensin II receptor blockers (including valsartan, etc), aliskiren, anti-platelet medications or blood thinners.
This does not form a complete listing. Hence, you are advised to consult your doctor for other likely interactions. You may need to tell your doctor about all pre-existing medical conditions as well as your family’s health history. Take needful consent of your treating doctor prior to initiating or discontinuing the intake of meloxicam.
In general, stay mindful of possible drug interactions before taking this medicine. Such interactions may occur if this drug is consumed with other medications or a few foods. Inform your doctor about drugs you currently take. Never exclude drugs taken. Inform of non-prescription medications, OTCs, health supplements like minerals, vitamins, etc. Also disclose herbal medicines, drinks with caffeine, alcohol, smoking habits, and if restricted / banned / illegal drugs- if any – are taken. These may increase or interfere with this drug. In general, if you are suffering from chronic renal disorders, it is recommended to avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as meloxicam.
Inputs taken from your treating doctor
Always remember to seek needful inputs from your treating physician about the right dosage of this drug, needed for treating your current medical condition. You may also need to understand the ways by which you can minimize or avoid adverse side effects – especially increase in body weight.
Does intake of meloxicam lead to weight gain?
Gain of body weight is an outcome of an increase in fats or muscular mass. Accumulation of fats can be due to lack of workouts or consuming a diet rich in fats. It can also be a result of a possible accumulation of fluids inside your body. The reasons for increase in fluids in your body can be due to intake of a medications, renal dysfunction or cardiac disorders.
The most common side effects of intake of meloxicam are flatulence, indigestion, dizziness, nausea, restlessness, rashes on your skin, soreness of throat, headache, etc. As you can see weight gain does not feature as part of the aforesaid common side effects. On the other hand, intake of meloxicam triggers a few rare but serious side effects. These are weight gain (in a rapid mode), swelling, slurring of speech function, blurring of vision, etc.
If you are experiencing any of these serious side effects, you are advised to stop taking meloxicam. Especially, if you are gaining weight rapidly, it is time to stop the drug and consult your treating doctor without any further delay. So, the answer to the central question here is- this drug may very rarely cause a sudden increase in body weight. But this effect is a very remote occurrence.
Increase in body weight due to fluid retention
Fluid retention is not a common side effect. Among the serious and rare side effects, sudden and inexplicable gain in body weight and / or swelling of body parts may also be observed. Swelling may be experienced of your limbs (feet and hands) or on your face (at times, it can be a swollen tongue or throat). You may also see a drastic change in the quantum of urine discharged.
These episodes of swelling may be triggered by a change in renal function. This effect is experienced, though rarely while taking NSAIDs like meloxicam. But in less than 4% of the patients taking meloxicam, retention of body fluids is observed. This condition is medically termed as edema. This condition manifests with extra body fluids getting accumulated into various tissues of your body.
In such instances, you are advised to consume plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration and drastic changes in urine output.
Some NSAIDs may also enable your body to retain more sodium. Such storage leads to undermining your renal function. If you are a resident of US, you are advised to call FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 upon sensing these adverse side effects. In case you live in Canada, call Health Canada by dialling 1-866-234-2345.
Possibility of weight gain linked to cardiac failure
Another key insight with regard to intake of NSAIDs is the increase in the odds of a cardiac failure. On a lateral note, sudden weight gain is a common symptom among people who run risks of heart failure. Such gain in body weight is observed to be in the range of four to five pounds in less than 10 days. You may also note that the weight gain is accompanied by swelling of ankles and limbs. It is due to these near-fatal risks, a sudden or a rapid gain of body weight needs to be reported to your treating doctor as soon as the symptom is observed.
Proportion of people experiencing weight gain
Gain in body weight is not a common side effect. If more than 1% of people consuming a drug develop a side effect, it is termed as a common side effect. Weight gain is a very rare symptom, observed in less than 1% of people consuming an NSAID such as meloxicam. It is this extreme rarity of occurrence that makes it difficult to link it a trigger. Clinical research claim, gain in body weight may be linked to other factors also i.e., apart from consuming NSAIDs like meloxicam.
Other reasons that can lead to weight gain
You also need to aware of all other possibilities triggering weight gain. These include
– Intake of NSAIDs – such as meloxicam – is capable to triggering weight gain. Apart from NSAIDs, co-administration of drugs for depression, diabetes, oral contraceptives as well as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may also lead to sudden gain in body weight
– Deficiency of thyroid hormone (known as hypothyroid medical condition), wherein you witness a slowdown in your metabolic rate. It eventually leads to accumulation of fats and body fluids. The signs related to this medical condition are hoarseness of voice, weariness, swelling of your face and memory lapse
– People with diabetes are also prone to sudden weight gain. This is mainly attributed to your body’s inability to breakdown foods consumed into energy and its other constituents
– Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can also cause obesity. The side effects of this condition are more complex including problems in becoming pregnant, erratic menstrual periods, etc.
– Medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome can make fats to get stored in your body. Such accumulation is often observed in your abdomen, face and rear sides. You may also observe your limbs to remain slim, with no traces of swelling due to accumulation of fats.
A few other factors that can trigger weight gain are intake of excessive carbs, not taking enough fluids – especially water, increase in levels of cortisol (also known as stress hormone), dietary supplements such as creatine, constipation (inability to poop), etc.
You are advised to share your complete medical history and your family’s health history with your treating doctor. The details you share can help your doctor to stay aware of possible reactions, and prescribe drugs accordingly.
In sum, meloxicam is taken to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis among adults.
It reduces muscular stiffness and also relieves pain. It features as a part of the standard treatment plan administered to treat rheumatoid arthritis among adults as well as among children; if the latter have developed a medical condition called juvenile arthritis. This medicine falls under a category of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
Gain in body weight is not a common side effect experienced while consuming this drug. In general, if more than 1% of people consuming a drug develop a side effect, it is termed as a common side effect. Weight gain is a rare symptom, observed in less than 1% of people consuming an NSAID.
It is this extreme rarity of occurrence that makes it difficult to link it a trigger. Clinical research claim, gain in body weight may be linked to other factors also i.e., apart from consuming NSAIDs. Such other factors are intake of dietary supplements, prior risks of cardiac ailments, thyroid deficiency or Cushing’s syndrome, etc.
In less than 4% of people taking meloxicam, retention of body fluids has been observed. In such instances, you are advised to consume plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration and changes that may occur in your urine output. NSAIDs may also enable your body to retain more sodium. Such storage may lead to weakening your renal function. American residents are advised to call FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 upon sensing such adverse effects.