Meloxicam is a member of the class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), the same class as common over-the-counter pain remedies like Advil (ibuprofen), Orudis (ketoprofen), and aspirin. Most of these NSAIDs cannot be used in pets due to the following unacceptable side effects:
- Stomach ulceration
- Decreased blood supply to the kidney in a borderline patient
Meloxicam has been approved by the FDA for use in cats for surgical pain.
Meloxicam is generally given to control arthritis pain in dogs and other painful conditions such as injuries, surgery, dental infections, and more.
- If nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or black stools are observed, the drug should be discontinued as stomach ulceration may occur in up to 10% of patients on meloxicam.
Interactions with Other Drugs
NSAIDS should not be used in conjunction with corticosteroid medications such as prednisone and dexamethasone. If meloxicam is used concurrently with phenobarbital, it is especially important that appropriate liver monitoring be performed.
Concerns and Cautions
When beginning a trial course of meloxicam, a response may take 3 or 4 days to show. If no response is seen in 10 days, meloxicam has failed and a different pain medication should be tried. If one NSAID fails, another may well work.
Meloxicam should be avoided, if possible, in patients with impaired function of the liver, kidney, or heart. It should also be avoided in dehydrated patients and patients with known GI ulcers.
- The most common side effects of meloxicam are nausea, appetite loss, vomiting, or diarrhea. If any of the above are noted, meloxicam should be discontinued and the pet brought in for a liver enzyme and renal parameter blood test. It is important to rule out whether or not the patient has more than just a routine upset stomach.
- Monitor for black stools, as this may be a sign of gastric/intestinal ulcer.