Meloxicam is a generic drug prescribed for reducing pain and inflammation caused by certain types of arthritis. Meloxicam is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

  1. Meloxicam oral tablet is available only as a generic. It’s not available as a brand-name drug.
  2. Meloxicam comes in three forms: oral tablet, oral suspension, and oral capsule.
  3. Meloxicam oral tablets are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to treat pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Meloxicam is a prescription drug. It comes in three forms: oral tablet, oral suspension, and oral capsule.

Meloxicam oral tablet is not available as a brand-name drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Why it’s used

Meloxicam decreases inflammation and pain. It’s approved to treat:

For more about these conditions, visit our arthritis hub and rheumatoid arthritis hub.

How it works

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

It is unknown 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.

Meloxicam can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking meloxicam. This list does not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of meloxicam or tips on how to deal with a bothersome side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with meloxicam include:

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart attack. Symptoms can include:
    • chest pain or discomfort
    • difficulty breathing
    • cold sweat
    • pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or area above your belly button
  • Stroke. Symptoms can include:
    • numbness or weakness of your face, arm, or leg on one side of your body
    • sudden confusion
    • difficulty speaking or understanding speech
    • vision problems 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 can include:
    • severe stomach pain
    • vomiting blood
    • bloody stools
    • black, sticky stools
  • Liver damage. Symptoms can 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 can include:
    • dull headache
    • dizzy spells
    • nosebleeds
  • Water retention or swelling. Symptoms can include:
    • rapid weight gain
    • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Skin problems, such as blistering, peeling, or rash.
  • Kidney damage. Symptoms can include:
    • changes in how much or how often you urinate
    • pain with urination
    • anemia (decreased red blood cells)

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

If you or your child has these side effects and they bother you or don’t go away, talk with your doctor.

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Side effects in older adults

Older adults (people ages 65 years and older) who take meloxicam have an increased risk of certain side effects. These include:

  • cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke
  • digestive system side effects, such as ulcers and bleeding in the stomach or intestines
  • kidney problems, such as kidney damage and acute (sudden) kidney failure

If you’re an older adult and your doctor recommends meloxicam, they’ll likely start you on a lower dosage than usual. They’ll also monitor you more closely for the types of side effects listed above.

For more information about meloxicam side effects in older adults, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Meloxicam oral tablet can interact with several other medications. Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

Below is a list of medications that can interact with meloxicam. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with meloxicam.

Before taking meloxicam, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Antidepressants and anxiety drugs

Taking meloxicam with certain antidepressants and anxiety medications raises your risk of bleeding. Examples of these drugs include:


Taking meloxicam with corticosteroids can increase your risk of stomach ulcers or bleeding. Examples of these drugs include:

  • prednisone (Rayos)
  • dexamethasone (Hemady)

Cancer drug

Taking pemetrexed (Alimta) with meloxicam can increase your risk of infection, kidney problems, and stomach issues.

Transplant drug

Taking cyclosporine (Neoral) with meloxicam can increase the levels of cyclosporine in your body, causing kidney problems. If you take these drugs together, your doctor should monitor your kidney function.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug

Taking methotrexate (Trexall) with meloxicam can increase the levels of methotrexate in your body. This can result in kidney problems and an increased risk of infection.

Anticoagulant/blood thinner

Taking warfarin (Jantoven) with meloxicam increases your risk of stomach bleeding.

Bipolar disorder medication

Taking lithium (Lithobid) with meloxicam can cause amounts of lithium in your blood to increase to dangerous levels. Symptoms of high levels of lithium may include tremors, excessive thirst, and confusion. If you take these drugs together, your doctor may monitor your lithium levels.

Blood pressure drugs

Taking these medications with meloxicam may reduce the blood pressure-lowering effects of these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

Diuretics (water pills)

Taking certain diuretics with meloxicam can decrease the effect of these drugs. Examples of these diuretics include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Meloxicam is an NSAID. Combining it with other NSAIDs may increase your risk of side effects, such as stomach bleeding or ulcers. Examples of NSAIDs include:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)
  • etodolac
  • diclofenac (Cambia)
  • fenoprofen (Nalfon)
  • ketoprofen
  • tolmetin
  • indomethacin (Indocin)

As with all medications, the cost of meloxicam can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Drug coupons: You can visit Optum Perks for price estimates of meloxicam. These estimates are based on the use of Optum Perks coupons. Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with any insurance copays or benefits.

Financial and insurance assistance: If you need financial support to pay for meloxicam, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help may be available. The sites below provide information on drug assistance programs and other services:

To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.

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The meloxicam dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using meloxicam to treat
  • your age
  • the form of meloxicam you take
  • other medical conditions you may have, such as kidney damage

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the dosage that’s right for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Forms and strengths

Generic: meloxicam

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 7.5 milligrams (mg), 15 mg

Dosage for osteoarthritis

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 7.5 mg taken once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 15 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years has not been established. This drug has not been found to be safe and effective in this age group for this condition.

Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis

Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)

  • Typical starting dosage: 7.5 mg taken once per day.
  • Maximum dosage: 15 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

Dosage for people younger than 18 years hasn’t been established. This drug has not been found to be safe and effective in this age group for this condition.

Dosage for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Child dosage (ages 2–17 years)

Meloxicam oral tablets should not be used in children weighing less than 60 kilograms (kg), or about 130 pounds (lb).

  • Typical starting dosage for children weighing 60 kg (about 130 lb) or more: 7.5 mg once daily.
  • Maximum dosage: 7.5 mg per day.

Child dosage (ages 0–1 years)

Dosage for children younger than 2 years hasn’t been established. This drug has not been found to be safe and effective in this age group.

Special dosage considerations

For people receiving hemodialysis: This drug is not removed during dialysis. Taking a typical dosage of meloxicam while receiving hemodialysis may cause a buildup of the drug in your blood, which could worsen side effects. The maximum daily dose for people ages 18 years and older who are receiving hemodialysis is 7.5 mg per day.

FDA warnings

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 about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Heart risk warning: Meloxicam may increase your risk of developing a blood clot, heart attack, or stroke, which can be fatal. Your risk may be higher if:

You should not take meloxicam for pain before, during, or after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. This can increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Stomach problems warning: 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 at any time while you’re taking this drug. They may happen without any signs or symptoms. Adults ages 65 years and older are at higher risk of these stomach or intestinal problems.

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Allergy warning

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

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

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

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal.

Liver damage warning

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 medications for high blood pressure may not work as well as they should when you’re taking meloxicam.

Multiorgan hypersensitivity/DRESS warning

This medication can cause multiorgan hypersensitivity. This is also known as a drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS). This syndrome can be life threatening. Call your doctor right away if you have symptoms, such as a rash, a fever, or swollen lymph nodes.

Harm to developing fetus warning

You should not take meloxicam if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Meloxicam can cause harm to a developing fetus if taken at 20 weeks or later in pregnancy. If you are between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy, only take this drug if your doctor has recommended it. Do not take this drug if you are more than 30 weeks pregnant.

Warnings for people with certain health conditions

For 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.

For 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.

For 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 medication.

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

For people with kidney disease: Taking meloxicam for a long time may decrease your kidney function, making your kidney disease worse. Stopping this drug could reverse kidney damage caused by the drug.

For people with asthma: Meloxicam can cause bronchial spasm and difficulty breathing, especially if your asthma gets worse when you take aspirin.

Warnings for other groups

For pregnant females: Using meloxicam during your third trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of negative effects on your pregnancy. You should not take meloxicam after 30 weeks of pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor. Meloxicam should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

You should also talk with your doctor if you’re trying to get pregnant. Meloxicam can cause a reversible delay in ovulation. If you’re having a hard time becoming pregnant or are having tests for infertility, do not take meloxicam.

For females who are breastfeeding: It is unknown whether meloxicam passes into breast milk. If it does, it could cause side effects in your child if you breastfeed while taking meloxicam. You and your doctor may decide whether you’ll take meloxicam or breastfeed.

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

For children: For the treatment of JIA, this drug has been found to be safe and effective for use in children 2 years and older. It should not be used in children younger than 2 years.

For the treatment of other conditions, this drug has not been found to be safe and effective for children of any age. It should not be used in people younger than 18 years.

Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.

Meloxicam oral tablet may be used for short- or long-term treatment. It comes with risks if you don’t take it as your doctor prescribes.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all: Your symptoms will remain and may worsen.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • stomach bleeding

A meloxicam overdose can cause organ failure or serious heart problems. If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or through its online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room 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 to tell if the drug is working: You should have less pain and inflammation.

Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes meloxicam oral tablet for you.


  • You can take meloxicam with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk.
  • You can cut or crush the oral tablet.


  • Store this medication at a room temperature of 77°F (25°C). If needed, you can keep it for short periods at temperatures between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this medication away from high temperatures.
  • Keep your medications away from areas where they could get damp, such as bathrooms.


A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription to get a refill of this medication. Your doctor will write the authorized number of refills on your prescription.


When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They won’t damage your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

During your treatment with this drug, your doctor may check your:

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


Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Other drugs are available to treat your condition. Some may suit you better than others. Talk with your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today 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 another 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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