According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 23 percent of American adults suffer from arthritis. Given that this is a painful condition that affects a person’s joints, many individuals search for ways to ease discomfort and inflammation. In fact, there are a number of prescription drugs such as meloxicam that help to decrease the symptoms of this condition. However, it is possible to abuse these drugs. The question is, is meloxicam addictive?
What is Meloxicam?
Indeed, meloxicam is a prescription drug that is used to treat arthritis. In particular, meloxicam is used to treat severe rheumatoid arthritis. Since it is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, meloxicam alleviates stiffness, swelling, and pain.
Uses of Meloxicam
Meloxicam blocks certain enzymes that decrease levels of prostaglandin in the body. In other words, meloxicam lowers inflammation that is caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Also, meloxicam is used to treat ankylosing spondylitis, which is arthritis that affects the spine.
Often, people with arthritis use NSAID pain relievers that are commonly available on store shelves. However, when pain and inflammation become severe, medication like ibuprofen may not be enough to relieve symptoms. In fact, meloxicam begins working within 24 to 72 hours and dramatically lessens an individual’s symptoms. Due to how much meloxicam dramatically reduces pain and induces feelings of euphoria, people still wonder is meloxicam addictive.
What are Alternatives to Meloxicam?
When a person wants an alternative to the drug meloxicam, there are a few options.
- Celebrex. Celebrex is a similar prescription medication to meloxicam. It brings lowered risks of developing stomach ulcers and other intestinal problems. However, there is still a chance of misuse.
- Naproxen. Naproxen is one of the strongest OTC pain relievers available. Its effects are more long-lasting than similar medicines. Unfortunately, it may not relieve severe pain or inflammation that is associated with debilitating arthritis.
- Anti-Inflammatory Diet. It is possible for a person to change his or her diet so that inflammation is decreased throughout his or her body. For example, eating kale, olive oil, almonds, and berries are known to decrease inflammation. Also, ginger and turmeric are two spices that are known to promote healing and to relieve pain that is associated with arthritis.
What are Side Effects of Meloxicam?
Although meloxicam is considered safe for daily consumption, there are certain precautions that a person should take with this drug. For example, this drug is not for individuals who have asthma, a sensitivity to aspirin, stomach problems, or ulcers. Also, it should be avoided by people who are allergic to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
In the long run, studies show that meloxicam can increase the risk of developing a heart attack. Therefore, people with a history of cardiac problems should not take this medication. Young users should be aware that meloxicam can also cause infertility as well.
Common Side Effects
As with any drug, there is the potential to develop negative reactions to meloxicam drug. In fact, there are a few common side effects that may develop:
- Blurry Vision
- Skin Rashes
- Elevation of Potassium Levels
Serious Side Effects
In rare cases, there is a chance to develop more serious side effects from meloxicam.
- Increased risk of stroke
- Allergic reactions that cause hives, especially around the face area
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Frequent urination
- Tarry stools
In fact, older adults who are in poor health and who take NSAIDS on a regular basis are the most likely group to develop these types of severe side effects. If a person experiences any of the above problems, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately.
Interactions with Other Medications
Is meloxicam addictive? Meloxicam is essential to consider the negative interactions that may occur when meloxicam is taken with certain drugs.
- Antidepressant/Anxiety Medication. Blending these drugs raises the likelihood of intestinal bleeding. This includes serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
- Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids, including prednisone and dexamethasone, can lead to stomach ulcers.
- Cancer Drugs. In particular, pemetrexed mixed with meloxicam raises the risks of developing kidney and stomach issues.
- Transplant Drugs. In fact, combining drugs like cyclosporine and meloxicam can lead to kidney issues.
- Blood Thinners. Taking meloxicam with drugs like warfarin can raise the likelihood of stomach bleeding.
- Bipolar Medication. Many individuals who have bipolar disorder take lithium. Meloxicam can increase the amount of lithium in the blood. In other words, a person who uses both meloxicam and lithium may experience lithium toxicity that can cause him or her to tremble in confusion. One’s bipolar medication in the form of meloxicam often causes tremors and confusion.
- Blood Pressure Drugs. Blood pressure drugs, including beta-blockers, may be affected by meloxicam. In the end, it may lower the effectiveness of these medications.
- Diuretics. Drugs like furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide are taken to control water levels in the body. When mixed with meloxicam, effects may be lowered.
- NSAIDs. In fact, combining meloxicam with regular NSAIDs may raise the risks of experiencing side effects. In particular, a person may experience stomach bleeding.
Is Meloxicam Addictive?
Since meloxicam does not make a person get high, it is not considered to be a recreational drug that leads to addiction. However, meloxicam abuse is a problem. Given that meloxicam is prescribed to individuals to relieve them of pain, a person may be tempted to take more than directed. In fact, this raises the risks of experiencing negative side effects.
Certainly, meloxicam is safe. However, it is still possible for a person to overdose on it. When an individual takes more than his or her recommended dosage, damaging consequences may occur. It’s essential to identify the symptoms of an overdose.
What are the Symptoms of a Meloxicam Overdose?
- Low energy
- Pain in the Stomach
- Bloody stools
- Labored breathing
When a person stops taking meloxicam, withdrawal may occur. Unlike other drugs, withdrawal from meloxicam is not very challenging. However, a person may experience pain from the original problem. Therefore, it may be necessary to uncover ways to increase comfort. Since the sudden discontinuation of this medication can make painful symptoms arise, a person is advised to work with a medical professional who can offer advice so that issues are kept to a minimum.
In general, when a person experiences withdrawal from meloxicam, his or her arthritis symptoms will return. In fact, an individual may feel stiffer and have redness and swelling around his or her joints. To explain, it takes 15 to 20 hours to remove half of the meloxicam in a person’s body. To repeat, there are no actual withdrawal symptoms. However, a person can expect the pain to return after the drug is stopped.
Is Treatment for Meloxicam Abuse Necessary?
In fact, the management of withdrawal for meloxicam does not usually require any type of treatment or alternative drug therapy. It does not bring any safety concerns like withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. However, a person should consult with his or her physician in order to address his or her arthritis problems.
The doctor can prescribe other medications or treatments that suppress pain and inflammation. For example, a person may be advised to rest and to apply heat. Also, he or she may begin acupuncture or physical therapy sessions.
Meloxicam and Alcohol Use
To repeat, meloxicam does not have the ability to provide the euphoric feeling of narcotics. However, meloxicam abuse may still occur. In fact, this drug is prescribed as a painkiller. It has been used in a pattern of polydrug abuse cases.
In certain instances, a person may binge drink and experience frequent hangovers. Therefore, to relieve the results, meloxicam is consumed. In other words, this drug allows a person to continue drinking in large quantities without negative consequences. It is important to note that the mixture of NSAIDS and alcohol is damaging. In fact, an individual may experience bleeding in his or her intestines or develop painful ulcers.
Seeking Help for Polydrug Misuse
Even though meloxicam is not a narcotic, it can bring damaging effects to a person who takes it in large quantities or to relieve pain that is not associated with arthritis. If a person becomes addicted, including cases of polydrug misuse, it is essential to seek professional treatment. When an individual takes a drug like meloxicam without a prescription, there may be a bigger problem.
Also, taking more than prescribed is a sign of a problem. Many times, meloxicam is used as a coping mechanism. At Grace Land Recovery, we offer treatment programs to individuals who misuse prescription medications. Our Memphis rehab facility here at Grace Land Recovery is a comfortable and relaxing place for anyone who is looking to overcome a drug misuse disorder. For more information, contact us today.