It is not safe to drink alcohol while taking meloxicam. Doing so can increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems, including ulcers.
If you deal with arthritis, you may start using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). There are both over-the-counter and prescription options.
Meloxicam, known by its brand name Mobic, is prescribed for people who have pain in their joints.
Meloxicam can work for these types of arthritis:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: In this type of arthritis, your body’s immune system attacks your joints. Eventually, your joints might become deformed.
- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: This autoimmune form of arthritis is diagnosed before a child is 16. It may stunt growth, cause swelling, and lead to pain in the joints.
- Osteoarthritis: This stems from regular use of the joints. Cartilage in your joints starts to become thinner and wear down. It most commonly appears in the hips, knees, hands, elbows, and wrists.
Why Meloxicam is Used
Meloxicam works by decreasing the proteins and cells in your body that cause inflammation. This reduces pain in your joints and diminishes swelling and can cause a fever.
Meloxicam is sold in a liquid form and as a tablet. NSAIDs are known not to be addictive, but they do have side effects. Their use can lead to:
- An increase in blood pressure. Medical News Today mentions that NSAIDs cause a rise in blood pressure. This forces fluids to stay in your body longer and could cause problems with your kidneys in the long term.
- Liver issues. People who have current liver issues should not take meloxicam because it is already known to cause injury to this organ.
Other Side Effects Include the Following:
- Back pain
- Symptoms that resemble the flu
You should contact your doctor if these side effects do not go away.
Risks of Meloxicam
Damage to the liver. This may be visible through yellowing in the eyes or skin, fatigue, and dark urine.
Gastrointestinal issues. Ulcers, bleeding, and other stomach issues may occur.
Skin issues. Dehydration, peeling of the skin, and organ failure could be signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Effects in Combination with Other Substances
It is best not to use other substances when you are using meloxicam. Better Health Channel explains that using these substances can cause additional problems when taking NSAIDs:
- Other NSAIDs: Meloxicam along with another NSAIDs, even over-the-counter medication such as aspirin, can increase the chances of bleeding.
- Blood pressure and medication for cardiovascular health: This includes beta blockers and diuretics. Meloxicam and other NSAIDs can stop these medications from working altogether.
- Blood thinners: These can amplify the chance of bleeding.
- Alcohol: Drinking consistently or heavily can cause more problems with NSAIDs because it irritates your stomach’s lining. This may increase the risk of gastrointestinal issues, including bleeding.
Alcohol & Meloxicam
Some people who have arthritis sometimes take more than one medication to deal with their symptoms. Whether a prescription or over-the-counter NSAID is taken, they all usually come with a warning not to drink alcohol when taking it.
Drinking alcohol increases the chances of getting a stomach ulcer or of bleeding in the stomach. In addition, these issues may occur at any phase of your arthritis treatment. They may not show symptoms before they happen, and they can even become fatal in some people.
If taking meloxicam, you should avoid drinking alcohol. Though it is better to avoid all alcohol, it is best not to exceed more than three drinks per day.
People who take NSAIDs for a long time are at additional risk. Senior citizens and people who have compromised immune systems should avoid combining alcohol and NSAIDs altogether.
A Final Word
People with arthritis sometimes use other medications in addition to NSAIDs. Some people use antidepressants to help them deal with everyday life, or they may use sleep medication to address sleep issues.
People who take NSAIDs may not be aware that these medications have a variety of side effects. It may be okay to take a drink once in a while to celebrate a special occasion. However, it is best to stay away from alcohol altogether to avoid complications.
A 2016 paper from the British Journal of General Practice states that NSAIDs, such as meloxicam result in 30 percent of hospital visits due to preventable adverse reactions to medications in the United Kingdom. The paper mentions that this may be because:
- Severe adverse reactions can occur even after just one day of use.
- The elderly are at higher risk of adverse reactions due to existing issues with the heart, kidneys, and blood pressure. Taking alcohol along with meloxicam is especially unsafe for senior citizens. High-risk groups are also known to take NSAIDs in high amounts.
In the UK, rates of NSAID fatalities are higher than those associated with car crashes and twice as high as death rates due to cervical cancer and asthma.
Some Recommendations from the British Journal of General Practice Are:
- Senior citizens should use an alternative to NSAIDs whenever possible.
- Improve safety standards for the prescription of NSAIDs.
Even on its Own, Meloxicam Can Cause an Overdose. Some Symptoms to Watch Out for Are:
Overdose Symptoms that Require Immediate Help Include:
- Heart attack
- Coma or unresponsiveness
- Difficulty breathing
Ultimately, avoiding all use of alcohol or other drugs while using meloxicam is the best way to stay safe from its possible adverse effects.