“DO’s and DON’Ts”: Meloxicam Edition
Joint pain caused by arthritis can sometimes be, well, a pain to manage. Although there is not a cure for arthritis, a prescription for Meloxicam can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Meloxicam is typically prescribed for three different types of arthritis: osteoarthritis, or a swelling of joint lining; juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis found in children; and ankylosing spondylitis, or arthritis of the spine.
What’s in a name?
Meloxicam is in a class of medication called “nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,” also known as NSAIDs - a name which sounds intense, but common over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen also fall under the NSAID umbrella. NSAIDs like Meloxicam stop the body from producing an enzyme that causes pain, fever, and inflammation, relieving symptoms associated with arthritis.
Although scientific studies show that Meloxicam kicks in after only 5 doses, people who take it say it generally takes about 2 weeks. The medication comes in pill and liquid form, so it is pretty user-friendly. However, there are some risks associated with the medication: here are some “dos and don’ts” to remember while taking Meloxicam.
DO: Limit Alcohol
A nice glass of wine at the end of the day is what some dreams are made of, but it could be trouble while taking Meloxicam. Alcohol consumption increases the risk for ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the stomach and intestine - so if you do indulge, make it a glass instead of a bottle.
Smoking also increases the risk of bleeding in the stomach or intestines, especially if you smoke regularly while taking Meloxicam. Since it is generally a good idea to quit smoking anyway, taking Meloxicam can be the push to get you going.
DO: Keep Tabs on Your Body
We all know what’s normal for our bodies. Although Meloxicam can cause various, non-threatening side effects like diarrhea, constipation, and gas, the real side effects to keep an eye out for are unexplained rapid weight gain or swelling, hair loss, symptoms of fever, chest pain, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you notice any of these side effects while taking Meloxicam, give your doctor a call immediately.
DON’T: Mix Medications
Like oil and vinegar, or family reunions and in-laws, certain medications just don’t mix well. Drug interactions may happen when combining Meloxicam and other NSAIDs (like Advil, Aleve, Motrin, or Celebrex, just to name a few). People who take Meloxicam should also avoid blood thinners (anticoagulants), oral steroids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Zoloft, and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Also, talk to your doctor before taking any other pain relievers or over-the-counter cold medicine - they may interact poorly with Meloxicam.
DO: Give Yourself Time
Meloxicam can take some time to start working, and, like other NSAIDs, will only work as long as you take the medication. The good news is, you can stop taking it without feeling withdrawal symptoms -- so if you are keen to hit the bar for a night on the town, you can stop taking Meloxicam without weening yourself off - but it is always best to consult your doctor.
Related Pages:Arthritis Page, Meloxicam Drug Page
Tags:meloxicam , meloxicam side effects , meloxicam for arthritis , arthritis medications , arthritis drugs
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