How Does Meloxicam Work? - MedicineHow

How Does Meloxicam Work?

How Does Meloxicam Work

Meloxicam is a type of drug called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by stopping the production of compounds called prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins have a number of effects on your body, including causing inflammation.

This is why meloxicam can help to reduce pain and inflammation by stopping the production of prostaglandins and is usually used to relieve painful inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Brand Names and Doses

Meloxicam is the generic name, which is the name of the active ingredient inside the medication that has an effect on your body. You may know if better by one of it’s brand names, which are the names given by the pharmaceutical company that produces it.

  • Meloxibell tablets (7.5 mg)

  • Mobic tablets (7.5 mg)

  • Movalis tablets (7.5 mg)

  • Moxicam tablets (7.5 mg)

  • Mobic capsules (7.5 mg, 15 mg)

What type of drug is it?

Meloxicam is a type of drug known as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a group of drugs that all work in a similar way. Other examples of NSAIDs include:

Meloxicam is a special type of NSAID, which we call a COX-2 selective NSAID. This is because it specifically blocks COX-2 (and not COX-1), which helps to reduce pain and inflammation with a lower risk of side effects. However, when you take higher doses of meloxicam, it also starts to affect COX-1, which is why only low doses are usually used.

It has a long half-life, which means that stays in your body for a longer time after taking a dose. In fact, almost half of the original dose is still in your body 24 hours after taking a dose. This mean that you can take a dose less often than for other NSAIDs, usually once a day.

What is Meloxicam used for?

Meloxicam is often used to help relieve symptoms of pain and inflammation caused by various health conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

It is helpful for people who need ongoing relief for these condition because it can be taken as a single dose once a day.

How does it work?

Meloxicam works by inhibiting COX-2 (and COX-1 at higher doses), which is needed to produce some types of prostaglandins in your body.

You have many different types of prostaglandins in your body, with some in almost every tissue. They each have different effects on your body, such as to cause your blood vessels to relax and widen, the platelets in your blood to come together to form a clot, or the tissues in your body to become inflamed.

Unlike other general NSAIDs that block both COX-1 and COX-2, meloxicam usually only blocks the action of COX-2. Inflammation is mostly caused by the prostaglandins that produced with the help of COX-2. Therefore, meloxicam has a more targeted effect to reduce pain and inflammation, with fewer side effects from the COX-1 related prostaglandins, such as blood clotting and hypertension.

Side Effects

Even though meloxicam has a more targeted effect than other NSAIDs because it only affects COX-2, you may still experience some side effects. These may include:

  • Nausea​

  • Heartburn (dyspepsia)

  • Diarrhea

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

This is not a complete list of side effects, but just some of the most common. Please see the Meloxicam information leaflet for more detailed information.

Drug Interactions

Meloxicam can interact with many other medications when they are used in together, including:

  • ACE Inhibitors

  • Aldosterone antagonists

  • Alendronate

  • Amiloride

  • Aspirin

  • Beta blockers

  • Brimonidine

  • Calcineurin inhibitors

  • Corticosteroids

  • Cyclosporin

  • Fluconazole

  • Lithium

  • Loop diuretics

  • Methotrexate

  • Phenindione

  • Potassium

  • Prostaglandin analogues

  • Rifampicin

  • Sartans

  • Tacrolimus

  • Thiazide diuretics

  • Thiazolidinediones

  • Triamterene

  • Warfarin

These medications can often be used together, but your doctor should be aware that you are taking both medications so that they can adjust the dose as needed to ensure they are safe and effective.


There are some people who may need to avoid using Meloxicam, or use it with caution, because they may be at risk of side effects due to the medication.

Peptic ulcers or GI bleeding:

Coagulation disorders:

Cardiovascular disease:


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD):

Renal Impairment

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Meloxicam is not usually recommended for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. This is because it can interfere with fertility and the development of the fetus.

For women planning to become pregnant, it can prevent or delay ovulation, so that the woman is less likely to conceive. Additionally, using meloxicam during pregnancy, particularly at the time of conception, is linked to a higher risk of miscarriage. It may also cause other problems later on in the pregnancy and should be avoided.

For women who are breastfeeding, meloxicam is considered safe to use.

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How Does Meloxicam Work?
About the author


Yolanda is a passionate medical writer who loves to help people understand how health and different treatments work. After graduating in Pharmacy in Australia, she moved to Italy to study the Mediterranean way of life and continue learning about health and medicine.

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