Mobic (Meloxicam) for Arthritis Treatment

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Mobic (meloxicam) is a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) approved for the treatment of certain types of arthritis. It decreases inflammation, which is a major cause of arthritis symptoms.

Mobic is safe, but it can produce rare side effects such as hypertension, heart attack, stomach bleeding and ulceration, allergic reactions, and kidney or liver failure.

Indications

Mobic is prescribed to relieve signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It is primarily used to reduce inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is characterized by a breakdown and thinning of the cartilage in your joints. This process generally occurs due to normal wear and tear, and the repeated injuries result in an inflammatory response that produces joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. The most commonly affected joints are in the knees, hips, hands, wrists, elbows, and spine.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system of the body attacks the joints. The inflammation causes swelling, pain, and joint stiffness. Over time, the inflammation can cause damage and deformities of the joints and may affect any joints of the body.
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA): A condition that begins before age 16, JRA is an autoimmune condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints. It may also be associated with rashes, inflammation of the eyes, fatigue, inflammation of internal organs, and problems with growth.

Dosing

Mobic is only available with a prescription, and it comes in tablet or oral suspension form. Tablets come in 7.5 mg and 15 mg strengths. The oral suspension comes in a 7.5 mg/5 mL strength.

For adults, it is started at 7.5 mg/day and can be increased to 15 mg/day if needed. The recommended dose for children is 0.125 mg/kg once daily up to a maximum of 7.5 mg. Because of potential side effects, it is recommended to take Mobic at the lowest effective daily dose.

Mobic can cause stomach upset, and this effect is minimized if it is taken with food, with a full glass of water, with milk, or with an antacid.

How It Works

Mobic reduces the production of inflammatory cells and proteins, which reduces the inflammation characteristic of arthritis. This anti-inflammatory effect decreases swelling, pain, and stiffness, as well as the other symptoms of JRA, such as rash and organ involvement. Mobic delays and reduces the joint damage that results from RA and JRA, but does not reduce the wear and tear joint damage of osteoarthritis.

Once the medication is discontinued, symptoms may resume again after a few days or a few weeks.

Side Effects, Risks, and Interactions

Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take Mobic, as it can cause harm to the developing baby and can be transferred to the young baby via breastmilk.

Mobic can cause a variety of side effects. The most common side effect is stomach upset, but some more serious side effects have been described. It is important for you to be aware of the warning signs if you are using this medication, and to seek prompt medical attention if you experience signs of the more serious side effects.

Side effects include:

  • GI: Stomach upset, gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach or esophageal ulcers.
  • Cardiovascular: Hypertension is detected by a measurement of blood pressure. A heart attack causes chest pain and shortness of breath. A stroke causes weakness, trouble speaking, falling, or confusion.
  • Allergies: Asthma, hives, or allergic-like reactions, especially if you have had these reactions after taking aspirin or any other NSAID.
  • Liver damage: Warning signs include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, appetite loss, itching, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, and abnormal liver function tests.
  • Kidney damage: May cause fluid retention and swelling in the body or decreased urination.
  • Severe skin reactions: Rarely, can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a life-threatening skin reaction characterized by peeling of the skin, severe dehydration, and organ failure.

Drug Interactions

Certain medications can interact with Mobic, altering the effectiveness of Mobic or the other medication or increasing the risk of side effects. Your doctor will weigh the pros and cons of your medication regimen and may consider changing your other prescriptions if you have to take Mobic.

Medications which can interact with Mobic include:

  • Aspirin
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Furosemide
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate

Signs of Overdose

An overdose of Mobic can cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain or bleeding. A large overdose has more severe consequences, such as breathing problems, coma, convulsions, and heart attack.

Mobic does not cause mood changes, a feeling of being intoxicated, or cause addiction.

A Word From Verywell

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are chronic conditions. You may experience waxing and waning of your symptoms, and you might be able to decrease your medication dose for months or even years at a time.

If you have arthritis, it is important to remain active and to participate in therapy if your doctor recommends it, because muscle stiffness can lead to inactivity, which worsens pain and overall health. Most people with arthritis are able to lead active and productive lives with proper treatment.

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