Meloxicam is used for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved medication. Meloxicam comes as a capsule with the dosage strengths of 5 mg and 10 mg for oral use.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your knees, hips, spine, and hands. Osteoarthritis symptoms can usually be managed, although the damage to joints can’t be reversed. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and some treatments might slow progression of the disease. It will also help improve pain and joint function. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm and slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone. Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms may include:
• Stiffness – the joint stiffness might be most noticeable upon awakening or after being inactive.
• Loss of flexibility- you might not be able to move your joint through its full range of motion.
• Tenderness – your joint might feel tender when you apply light pressure to or near it.
• Grating sensation – you might feel a grating sensation when you use the joint, and you might hear popping or crackling.
• Swelling – this might be caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.
• Bone spurs – these extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps that can form around the affected joint.
• Pain – affected joints might hurt during or after movement.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks the synovium. It is the lining of the membranes that surround your joints. The resulting inflammation thickens the synovium which can eventually destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. The tendons and ligaments that hold the joint together weaken and stretch. Gradually, the joint loses its shape and alignment. Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first. Particularly, those are the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet. As the disease progresses the symptoms frequently spread to the wrists, elbows, ankles, knees, shoulders, or hips. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of your body. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:
• Warm, tender, or swollen joints
• Loss of appetite
• Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
How does Meloxicam work?
Meloxicam is a type of medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). This medication works by blocking the action of a substance in the body called cyclo-oxygenase (COX). Cyclo-oxygenase is involved in the production of several chemicals in the body, some of which are known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are produced by the body in response to injury and certain diseases. Wherein, it causes inflammation, pain, and swelling. Meloxicam blocks the production of these prostaglandins and is therefore effective at reducing pain and inflammation.
How to use Meloxicam?
Take this medication by usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. Drink a full glass of water with it unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this drug.
If stomach upset occurs while taking this medication, take it with food, milk, or an antacid. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. The lowest effective dosage should always be used and only for the prescribed length of time. Do not take more of this medication than prescribed because higher doses increase the chance of stomach ulcers or bleeding. It may take up to two weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug. Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. Tell your doctor if your condition worsens.
What are the side effects of Meloxicam?
Common side effects:
• Abdominal discomfort
• Joint pain
• Back pain
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Sinus infection
• Pain and swelling in the extremities
• High blood pressure
• Urinary tract infection
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction including:
• Difficult breathing
• Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Warnings and Precautions
• This medicine may mask the signs and symptoms of infection. This may make you think mistakenly that an infection is getting better when it isn’t or that an infection is less serious than it is. For this reason you should tell your doctor if you get an infection while you are taking this medicine.
• This drug may cause sleepiness, dizziness, or visual disturbances that may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery safely. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure it won’t affect your performance.
• Your doctor will prescribe you the lowest effective dose of this medicine for the shortest possible time needed to relieve your symptoms. This is to minimize the chances of any side effects. It is important not to exceed the prescribed dose.
• During long-term treatment with this medicine you should have regular check-ups with your doctor so that you can be monitored for possible side effects of the medicine. This might include routine blood tests to monitor your liver function, kidney function and levels of blood components, particularly if you are elderly.
• This medicine should not be used in pregnancy, as it may delay labor or increase the length of labor and cause complications in the newborn baby.
• This medicine may pass into breast milk. It should not be used by mothers who are breastfeeding. Seek further medical advice from your doctor.
• This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor right away.
• This medicine is not licensed for use in children under 16 years of age. However, it may sometimes be used by specialists for children aged 12 to 16 years with juvenile arthritis who can’t take other NSAIDs.