What to Know About Mobic (Meloxicam)

A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication used to treat arthritis

In This Article

Mobic (meloxicam) is a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) and analgesic medication approved for the treatment of certain types of arthritis. It decreases inflammation, a major cause of arthritis symptoms such as pain, stiffness, and swelling. Mobic comes in a tablet or oral suspension (liquid) that's typically taken by mouth once a day. It's also available as a generic.

There are also the meloxicam brands Qmiiz ODT and Vivlodex, which is specifically indicated for arthritis. Though Anjeso—an injectable form of meloxicam—is indicated for moderate to severe pain not specific to arthritis, it is sometimes prescribed along with oral NSAIDs to manage arthritis pain.

Uses

Arthritis is a group of rheumatic diseases that causes joint inflammation and related symptoms. Mobic reduces the production of inflammatory cells and proteins, which may reduce the inflammation and associated pain characteristic of arthritis. It's typically prescribed for these types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis: The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by a breakdown and thinning of the cartilage in your joints. This process generally occurs due to normal wear and tear that, with time, results 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 attacks the joints. The inflammation causes swelling, pain, and joint stiffness. Over time, the inflammation can cause damage and deformities of any of the joints in the body.
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA): A condition that was formerly called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), JIA begins before age 16. JIA 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. Mobic is used to treat oligoarthritis (four or fewer joints are affected) or polyarthritis (five or more joints are affected) forms of JIA in children who are 2 years of age or older.

Mobic reduces the joint pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis but does not reduce the characteristic wear and tear joint damage.

Mobic may delay or reduce the joint damage that results from RA and JIA, but it does not slow the progression of these autoimmune diseases.

Off-Label Uses

Meloxicam may also be prescribed off-label for other types of inflammatory conditions and pain. This can include fibromyalgia, tendonitis, and dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps).

Before Taking

Mobic may be prescribed by a physician as a second-line treatment after lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise, and the use of common over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen or lower dose NSAIDs, have not offered enough symptom relief.

If meloxicam is being considered, your doctor will also determine if Mobic is the best form of the drug for you, or if an alternative brand would be better in your case.

For example, because Qmiiz ODT is a quick-dissolve tablet that disintegrates in the mouth, it may be better suited for those who prefer this delivery method or have problems swallowing medications.

If side effects are of particular concern in patients with osteoarthritis, Vivlodex gives patients the ability to start at a lower initial dose than Mobic.

Precautions and Contraindications

As Mobic can have severe and life-threatening side effects, including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks, your doctor will want to take a full medical history before prescribing it to you.

They may also check your blood pressure and run blood tests—to check your cholesterol and kidney and liver function, for example—to evaluate if taking the medication may come with additional risks.

Certain medical circumstances can make taking Mobic risky or even prohibit its use, including:

  • Allergic reactions or asthma: Do not take meloxicam if you have a hypersensitivity to meloxicam or if you've experienced asthma, urticaria (hives), or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions to NSAIDs can occur.
  • Pending heart surgery: Do not take Mobic for pain prior to coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
  • Cardiovascular events: NSAIDs may raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor if you've had a previous heart attack or stroke; have heart disease or a family history of heart disease; and if you smoke or have hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, or diabetes.
  • Fluid retention and edema: NSAIDs may lead to fluid retention and edema (swelling) in some people. Tell your doctor if you have a history of edema or congestive heart failure.
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers or bleeding: NSAIDs can cause serious ulcers and bleeding or perforation (holes) in the stomach or intestine. Tell your doctor if you have a history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding, have a bleeding disorder, or take oral corticosteroids, anticoagulants (blood thinners), or other NSAID therapies that can increase this risk.
  • Kidney effects or advanced renal disease: Long-term use of NSAIDs may cause renal injury. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease/are on dialysis or if you take diuretics or ACE inhibitors, which can increase renal risks. Do not take meloxicam if you have advanced renal disease.
  • Liver effects: NSAIDs may cause elevated levels on liver tests or, in rare cases, severe hepatic (liver) reactions including jaundice, fatal fulminant hepatitis, liver necrosis, and liver failure. Tell your doctor if you have liver dysfunction or have had any abnormal liver tests.
  • Skin reactions: NSAIDs can cause serious skin reactions, such as exfoliative dermatitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), which can be fatal. Tell your doctor if you have a history of skin reactions.
  • Pregnancy: There are no adequately controlled studies of Mobic in those who are pregnant, but meloxicam passes the placental barrier which poses risks to the developing fetus. It's especially important to avoid NSAIDs after 30 weeks gestation since they can cause premature closure of the fetus's ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel that connects major arteries before birth.
  • Breastfeeding: Those who are nursing may not want to take Mobic, as it may be transferred to the baby via breastmilk.
  • Those trying to conceive: NSAIDs may be associated with a delay in ovulation. Those who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing fertility treatment should avoid this drug.

The same is true for certain medications that can interact with Mobic and may increase your the risk of serious 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 that can interact with Mobic include:

  • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: NSAIDs may diminish the antihypertensive effect of these drugs.
  • Blood-thinning medications, such as Jantoven or Coumadin (warfarin): Both wafarin and meloxicam carry serious risks of gastrointestinal bleeding and other bleeding problems, which increases when taken with Mobic.
  • Rheumatrex or Trexall (methotrexate): NSAIDs may reduce the elimination of methotrexate from the body, increasing risk of toxicity.
  • Sandimmune (cyclosporine): Mobic may increase the renal toxicity of Sandimmune.
  • Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfonate): Do not use the Mobic oral suspension with Kayexalate. The sorbitol in the oral suspension combined with Kayexalate may increase risk of intestinal necrosis, a breaking down of intestinal tissue, that can be fatal.

Talk to your doctor about all medications, supplements, and vitamins that you currently take. While some drugs pose minor interaction risks, others may outright contraindicate use or prompt careful consideration as to whether the pros of treatment outweigh the cons in your case.

Dosage

Mobic tablets come in 7.5 and 15 milligram (mg) strengths. The oral suspension comes in a 7.5 mg per 5 milliliter (mL) strength. Because of potential side effects, it is recommended to take Mobic at the lowest effective daily dose and for the shortest possible duration.

For adults, it is started at 7.5 mg per day and can be increased to 15 mg per day if needed. The recommended dose for children is 0.125 mg per kilogram (kg) once daily up to a maximum of 7.5 mg. 

All listed dosages are according to the drug manufacturer. Check your prescription and talk to your doctor to make sure you are taking the right dose for you. Never increase your dose without your doctor's OK.

How to Take and Store

Mobic can be taken with or without food. If you have an upset stomach when you take it, you may want to time your dose to coincide with a meal.

Shake the oral suspension before drinking it.

Mobic should be stored at 77 degrees F away from heat and moisture, but you can travel with it at temperatures ranging from 59 to 86 degrees F.

Keep tablets in a tight container and keep the oral suspension container tightly closed. As with all medications, keep it out of the reach of children.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember; but if it's close to your next dose, just skip the missed dose.

Signs of Overdose

Contact your doctor and seek immediate medical attention if you take more than your prescribed dose of Mobic and experience signs of an overdose, including:

  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Pain below your ribs or upper abdomen
  • Stomach pain
  • Blood in stool

A large overdose has more severe consequences, such as breathing problems, coma, convulsions, and heart attack.

Side Effects

As with all drugs, meloxicam comes with the risk of side effects. As some can be serious, it's important to be aware of them when you begin taking the drug.

Common

  • Stomach upset
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

Severe

Severe and life-threatening adverse events can happen when taking this medication, such as allergic reactions, heart attack or stroke, stomach bleeding and ulceration, or kidney or liver failure.

Seek prompt medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms while taking Mobic: 

  • Severe stomach upset or pain
  • Black or tarry stools
  • High blood pressure
  • Chest or back pain
  • Weakness, falling
  • Trouble speaking or confusion
  • Asthma, hives, shortness of breath, or other allergic-like reactions
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Itching
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Dark or decreased urine output
  • Fluid retention and swelling in the body
  • Rash
  • Skin peeling or itchiness
  • Severe dehydration

Abnormal liver or kidney function tests can also be signs of a severe complication.

Warnings and Interactions

While you are on Mobic, your doctor may have you come in for periodic appointments to monitor blood pressure, liver, and kidney function, and to run blood tests to check for anemia—a possible complication of long-term NSAID use).

There are also drug interactions that may increase the risk of certain side effects or require you to be monitored by your physician. Drug interactions can include:

  • Aspirin: Taking these medications together may increase risks of side effects and complications, such as gastrointestinal ulcers.
  • Lithobid (lithium): Mobic may increase lithium concentrations, so patients on both medications need to be monitored for lithium toxicity.
  • Diuretics, such as Lasix (furosemide) or thiazide: Certain effects of diuretics may be reduced in people who take Mobic and patients on both medications need to be monitored for signs of renal failure.

Frequent alcohol use can increase the risk of side effects, so you should avoid it while taking Mobic.

A Word From Verywell

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile idiopathic 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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  4. Dalal D, Dubreuil M, Peloquin C, et al. Meloxicam and risk of myocardial infarction: a population-based nested case-control study. Rheumatol Int. 2017;37(12):2071-2078. doi:10.1007/s00296-017-3835-x

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  6. Prescribers' Digital Reference. Meloxicam-drug summary.

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