Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Alcohol: People taking this medication should not drink alcohol, as this can increase the risk of stomach problems with the medication.
Allergic reactions: If you have had a reaction to acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or other NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, ketoprofen, diclofenac) that included a runny nose, itchy skin rash, nasal polyps, or shortness of breath and wheezing, you should not take this medication. If you experience symptoms of a severe allergic reaction (e.g., hives; difficulty breathing, wheezing; swelling of the face, tongue, or throat), get immediate medical attention.
Bladder symptoms: This medication can cause bladder symptoms such as frequent or painful urination and blood in urine. If you develop these symptoms, stop taking this medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Blood pressure: Like other NSAIDs, meloxicam can cause increased blood pressure, which may contribute to other heart conditions. If you have high blood pressure, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Meloxicam may reduce mental or physical abilities required for performance of hazardous tasks such as operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle. Avoid these and other hazardous tasks until you are sure that this medication does not affect your ability to do these safely.
Fertility: Fertility may be decreased in people taking this medication. This medication is not recommended for women who are trying to get pregnant.
Heart attack and stroke: The use of COX-2 NSAIDs, including meloxicam, is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This risk is increased with higher total daily doses and taking the medication over long periods of time. If you have a history of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of taking this medication. Ask your doctor about all available treatment options that may be right for you.
Heart conditions: This medication can cause fluid retention which will make symptoms of certain heart conditions worse. If you have heart failure, high blood pressure, or other medical conditions that increase your risk of fluid retention (e.g., kidney problems), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Infection: This medication may mask signs of infection such as fever or muscle aches. If you notice other symptoms of infection (e.g., painful or frequent urination, sore throat, cough) contact your doctor.
Informing health professionals: Be sure to tell any health professionals (including your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and dentist) involved in your care that you are taking this medication, particularly if you are scheduled for heart surgery.
Kidney function: This medication can affect kidney function. You have a higher risk of developing kidney problems if you are a senior, take diuretics (water pills; e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide), or already have kidney disease or heart failure. Your doctor may monitor your kidney function with blood tests when you are taking this medication. Meloxicam is not recommended for people with severely reduced kidney function if they are not receiving dialysis.
Liver function: This medication may affect your liver function or cause liver problems. If you experience symptoms of liver problems (e.g., nausea, vomiting, feeling tired, yellowing of the skin or eyes) contact your doctor immediately. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. People with severely reduced liver function or have active liver disease should not take this medication.
Potassium levels: Meloxicam may cause high blood potassium levels. You are more at risk of high blood potassium if you are a senior, have diabetes or kidney failure, or are taking beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, atenolol), angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (e.g., ramipril, enalapril), or some diuretics (e.g., triamterene, amiloride). Because extremely high blood potassium levels can contribute to other conditions, such as heart problems, your doctor will monitor your potassium level with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
Ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines: This medication may cause stomach ulcers and bleeding from the stomach. These complications can occur at any time and are sometimes severe.
If you have had a stomach or intestinal ulcer, diverticulosis, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
If you experience symptoms of an ulcer or other stomach problems (e.g., stomach or abdominal pain, black stools, blood or coffee grind-like vomit, weakness), contact your doctor immediately or get immediate medical attention.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. It must not be used during the last 3 months of pregnancy as it may cause heart and kidney problems for the developing baby and cause prolonged labour with excessive bleeding during delivery.
Breast-feeding: Many anti-inflammatory medications are known to pass into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking meloxicam, it may affect your baby. Breast-feeding is not recommended while you are taking meloxicam.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: Seniors may have a higher risk of side effects and should be closely monitored by their doctors while taking this medication.