Jack wrote, “I use meloxicam for for my osteoarthritic shoulder. And it has done a wonderful job of allowing me to get on with life. In my case it does eliminate 75% of the pain in my left arm/shoulder. It does have a side effect, it makes my nose run. Though not noticeably, as both nostrils are small and the drainage goes from the sinus to my throat…”

What is it? Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Meloxicam works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. It is similar in activity to other NSAIDs; ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn or Aleve), and even aspirin. It is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – usually reserved for severe inflammatory joint pain.

Many people use it with success – meaning their pain is resolved, or at least blocked. The cause of the pain remains, but the symptoms are masked.

As a hormone blocker it does not block a single hormone path. Rather, it is possible for the drug to block several important paths, thereby interfering with several important actions in the body.

Like the other NSAIDs it can cause upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, gas; dizziness, nervousness, headache; runny or stuffy nose, sore throat; or mild skin rash. While the chemical itself can be irritating to the stomach, these side effects are associated with how it blocks hormones throughout the body.

The more serious problems include:

  • chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • swelling or rapid weight gain;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • skin rash, bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness; or
  • severe skin reaction — fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

It may cause life-threatening heart or circulation problems such as heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term.

A runny nose itself isn’t serious. However, that’s a symptom that suggests the drug is impacting several interconnected systems in the body.

Drinking alcohol while using meloxicam can increase the negative effects on the stomach. Be very careful about using any other medicines, even non-prescription ones because many of those drugs may contain substances that act on the same hormone pathways. For example, don’t use our ibuprofen cream while using meloxicam.

Meloxicam is extensively metabolized in the liver – and that job taxes the ability of that vital organ. It takes about 20 hours to excrete half the amount absorbed (half life). If a person is to stop meloxicam before a procedure or another drug, he/she should allow several days for the majority of the drug to clear the body.

Yes, it works to relieve joint pain, but the possible (likely?) side effects can be a disaster – and some of the negative effects don’t disappear when just stopping. Some damage is permanent and life threatening. If you use meloxicam long-term, your blood will need to be tested often. It can cause you to have unusual results with certain other medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using meloxicam.

Meloxicam interacts negatively with MANY other drugs and it is best to avoid using any other drug while you are taking meloxicam. The alcohol issues are a particular problem. Also, check with your doctor before using any vitamins, minerals, or supplements. The risks are high.

It is commonly prescribed even though it doesn’t cure anything and it may cause serious damage throughout the body – especially to important organ systems (liver, kidney, heart…). All doctors should be reluctant to prescribe it and it has nothing to do with generating more surgeries.

In the final analysis, it’s a dangerous substance.

The risks increase as the user gets older. The maximum daily dose is 15mg and some reports suggest that the dose be adjusted downward as you get older.

Real pain relievers, like narcotics/opioids, are far safer than meloxicam – except that they are likely to cause addictions, which are also difficult to manage.

Are there alternatives? There are non-Rx anti-inflammatories that help many people, including Curcumin. They don’t work like a drug, meaning they need to be taken regularly to establish an anti-inflammatory action in the body.

Drinking more water helps eliminate inflammatory toxins and lubricate tissue – joints included.

Magnesium helps, especially when dissolved in a soak. Yes, epsom salt is an excellent source of magnesium.

Exercise and range of motion work does a lot of good. Physical therapy works. So does acupuncture and Chinese medicine, but, don’t expect traditional medical doctors to agree. They prefer drugs and/or surgery. That’s the standard of practice and everything else is off the table. Most importantly is the elimination of inflammation-causing substances.

Tomatoes and other nightshade vegetables are notoriously inflammatory substances in some people. Sugar and all artificial sweeteners are toxic and addicting. The big one these days is wheat. People who eliminate all wheat are reporting almost miraculous relief for many long standing conditions – and they lose weight. Eliminating grains (wheat in particular) is difficult, but the rewards are impressive. Dr. William Davis wrote a book, Wheat Belly, that I highly recommend.

In conclusion, allow me to quote myself from above: Meloxicam, “it’s a dangerous substance”.

**UPDATE 9/14/15**: 

Jack reports that he’s been off meloxicam for a week, after speaking with his doctor on my recommendation. Here are his findings;

1) reduced pain throughout
2) heart skipping a beat late in the day is now diminished
3) upper stomach pain especially when he drank wine on an empty stomach is now diminished
4) slight and continual wooziness, especially over the last few months is now diminished
5) prior mentioned overactive sinus secretions are now diminished

Some of his neck/shoulder pain is returning, but the rest of his life seems to be better. Numbers 2 through 5 are all the common side effects of meloxicam.

Makes one wonder if reduced neck pain is worth skipped heart beats, stomach pain, continual dizziness, and a runny nose.