Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used for the treatment of medical conditions like fever, pains, inflammation or swelling. These drugs work by controlling a few enzymes which are responsible for inflammation as well as clotting of blood. This is one of the reasons why NSAIDs are also used in the prevention of clots in your blood vessels. Most of these drugs are non-selective in nature; this means they can control more than one type of enzyme. Commonly used drugs among NSAIDs genre of meds are ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, etc. Of course, there are many more such drugs. For instance, meloxicam is a NSAID. This drug is used for inflammatory conditions caused by arthritis as well as a few rheumatic disorders. It is helpful to understand the side effects this NSAID can trigger.

An effective control of the cyclooxygenase enzyme is found to offer relief from different types of pain as well as swelling. Needful control of this chemical can lead to alleviation of pains associated with arthritis, migraines, fever, tennis elbow, gout, wounds sustained through injuries, etc. Meloxicam is a drug belonging to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); this drug is mainly used for the treatment of pains caused by autoimmune conditions like arthritis. Not stopping with pain management, it is also effective in reducing inflammation, stiffness of muscles as well as other discomforts in the joints.

Meloxicam is taken orally; the normal dose is once every day. This NSAID is available in multiple forms – such as, liquid, tablet or a disintegrating type of pill. The best way to take the tablet is to swallow it with a glassful of water. As a safety measure, your doctor may tell you not to sleep or rest by lying down for half hour i.e., soon after swallowing the pill. Disintegrating version of this drug is placed underneath the tongue and is allowed to melt there. Once it is fully disintegrated there, you may take it in with water or can swallow it directly. On the other hand, liquid form needs to be shaken well prior to each use. Never use a ladle or spoon from your kitchen to measure the doses; always use the spoon or the measuring ladle provided along with the pack. This is an important step to avoid likely risks of overdose.

Side effects of meloxicam

This drug may trigger some minor side effects. Foremost of all, never use multiple forms of this drug without informing your treating doctor. This precaution is vital as this drug is available in different forms – as mentioned above. The dosage level may vary based on your clinical condition as well as how well your body responds to the initial doses. This drug may often take more than a week to yield benefits at the fullest level; hence, it is important to take the drugs all through the duration of your treatment plan. It is equally important to take it at the same timeslot of the day for better results.

You need to note that the treating physician has prescribed this drug because its benefits far outweigh its adverse side effects or other risks. Clinical studies prove that in most people meloxicam did not lead to any major side effects. A few people however may develop abdominal problems such as indigestion; in such cases, you are advised to consume it along with an antacid or with a meal. Other most common side effects of meloxicam are feeling dizzy, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Most of these side effects may not continue after a few days. However, if these adverse reactions persist for long or they tend to get aggravated, talk to your physician or pharmacist as quickly as possible.

A few serious side effects of this drug

One of the adverse side effects of this drug is, it can lead to hypertension or an increased level of blood pressure. You are advised to monitor your blood pressure in a routine manner. Upon noticing a spike in pressure level, it is a safe practice to report to your treating doctor without any delay. Acute side effects caused by this drug include frequent spells of headaches, internal bleeding, mood swings such as depression, anxieties, etc., symptoms of renal problems or signs of a cardiac condition. Likely incidence of renal dysfunction can be observed by changes in the output of urine. Similarly, heart conditions can be inferred through signs like inexplicable increase in bodyweight, inflammation of lower limbs – especially, feet or ankles as well as acute levels of weariness or lethargy.

It is possible to turn allergic to some of these drugs belonging to the NSAID category. Those who have known allergies or hypersensitivity to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin are advised to share needful details with their treating doctor. In some cases, a few passive or inactive ingredients of meloxicam may trigger some allergic reactions. It is generally considered safe to tell your pharmacist upon developing any discomforts – especially, soon after starting to take meloxicam.

Acute side effects of meloxicam

Serious side effects triggered by this drug are extremely rare and uncommon. One such likely outcome is the incidence of hepatic disorders. Signs of a likely liver condition include drop in appetite levels, pain in upper or middle abdomen, persistent spells of nausea, discoloration of skin and / or eyes (turning yellowish), discharge of darkened urine, etc. In equally rare instances, this drug may lead to a few allergic reactions. A few of these reactions may turn into serious conditions; such allergies include dizziness, rashes on skin, hives, inflammation of oral organs or facial parts, respiratory conditions such as wheezing, gasping or shortness of breath.

Prior medical conditions and disorders

In order to minimize likely side effects, your doctor needs to know about prior disorders and medical conditions, if any. Details about prior disorders such as hepatic diseases, intestinal problems, anemia or other blood-related ailments triggered by deficiency of iron, cardiac conditions like heart attacks or heart failure, incidence of strokes, high level of blood pressure (hypertension), ulcers and internal bleeding need to be shared with the physician and pharmacist. Those living with renal health problems have to take needful amounts of water every day.

Likely risks of co-administering meloxicam with other drugs

Meloxicam is known to interact adversely with a few drugs. It is a safe practice to share a list of all the drugs you are presently taking as well as treatment plans presently pursued. As you make this list, care to include prescription meds, over the counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements, dietary aids, etc. This drug is likely to interact with angiotensin II receptor blocking drugs such as valsartan, losartan, etc., diuretics or water pills, lithium, ACE inhibiting drugs like lisinopril, captopril, etc. You may need to be cautious while taking anti-platelet or blood thinning drugs such as warfarin, dabigatran, etc.

Take needful caution while taking over the counter drugs; this is because, most drugs may have ibuprofen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug in them. Co-administration of such drugs may only aggravate the side effects otherwise triggered by meloxicam. Those living with likely risks of cardiac conditions are advised to continue taking doses of aspirin. However, dosage of aspirin is retained at a very low level to avoid risks arising out of drug-interactions.

In case of a forgotten dose, never take a double dose of this drug. Intake of two doses at the same time can result in an overdosed condition. Common side effects of an overdose of meloxicam are changes in respiratory cycles (marked by a slowdown in breathing rates), acute pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, drowsiness as well as passing out. Upon noticing serious outcomes such as respiratory problems or fainting, you need to call 911 immediately. Residents of Canada may contact Health Canada as soon as possible.

Use of tobacco products and alcohol

Those who use tobacco (either as smoking or non-smoking forms) need to stay away from such habits during the dosage plan. Continuation of tobacco use may often result in internal bleeding, inflammation as well as other gastrointestinal conditions. Similarly, you are advised to minimize or completely avoid the use of alcohol while taking meloxicam. This is because of the odds of drowsiness or feeling dizzy are very high. Owing to this outcome, it is unsafe to drive vehicles or operate heavy machines. In general, it is not a good practice to perform activities that require a very high level of focus or concentration.

Other safety measures to minimize or avoid adverse side effects

Pregnant women must talk to their treating physician before starting to take meloxicam. As the drug’s active ingredients can harm the fetus, your doctor may advise staying away from this drug. In general, those who are planning to become pregnant or those who are already pregnant must inform their doctor about their pregnancy. Above all, this drug must never be taken during the first trimester. It is also not prescribed during the last trimester of pregnancy. In very small doses, this drug may be consumed during the 21st and 29th weeks of your pregnancy. Duration of doses is for a very small period; dosage is also at the least possible level. Medical studies do not have conclusive evidence on the side effects meloxicam may cause among breastfeeding mothers. It is highly recommended to consult a qualified physician before administering this drug to women who are nursing a baby.

Prior to a surgery or a dental procedure, it is important to tell your caregiving team about the intake of meloxicam. In most instances, your surgical team or dental caregivers will advise discontinuation of this drug during the run-up time or at least for 15 days before the surgical or dental intervention. This drug may develop more acute side effects among elderly or older people. Elders may witness discomforts such as chest pain, renal dysfunction, internal bleeding and a few other gastric problems. The dosage levels offered to elderly people are often lesser than doses administered to younger adults.

Another adverse reaction of this drug is the development of hypersensitivity to sun’s rays. Your doctor may hence advise minimizing the exposure to direct sunlight. As a safety measure, you are advised to wear protective clothing as well as apply sunscreen lotion or cream. It is a good practice to avoid being exposed to sunlamps as well as tanning-booths. Serious side effects include formation of blisters, rashes as well as discoloration of skin.

It is essential to know that the abovementioned list of side effects do not constitute an entire list of all possible discomforts. Hence, one may witness newer discomforts or unlisted side effects. Upon experiencing such new side effects, you are advised to call 911 or establish contact with a poison control center immediately. If you are a resident of one of the Canadian provinces, you can either call Health Canada or a poison control unit located in your province.

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