Learn about meloxicam abuse
Meloxicam is a prescription medication that is most commonly used to treat symptoms of arthritis. It is classified as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, or NSAID. In the United States, meloxicam is sold under the brand names Mobic and Vivlodex.
Meloxicam is safe when used as directed by a qualified physician. It can ease inflammation, reduce swelling, and alleviate pain. However, if you abuse meloxicam, or use it in combination with certain other substances, you put yourself at risk for considerable harm.
Meloxicam abuse statistics
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have reported the following statistics about meloxicam in the United States:
- Meloxicam earned approval for use in the U.S. in 2000.
- Pharmacists fill more than 9 million prescriptions for meloxicam every year.
- About 0.4 percent of people who take meloxicam for osteoarthritis are hospitalized for gastrointestinal problems.
Causes and risk factors for meloxicam abuse
Several factors can influence your risk for abusing meloxicam or another substance. Common risk factors include the following:
- Family history of substance abuse and addiction
- Family history of mental illness
- Personal history of substance abuse or mental illness
- Experiencing chronic pain
- Developing arthritis
- Impulse-control problems
- Early exposure to substance abuse
Signs and symptoms of meloxicam abuse
The following signs and symptoms of meloxicam abuse may indicate that you or someone you care about needs professional help:
- Trying to borrow or steal meloxicam that has been prescribed to someone else
- Visiting several doctors and trying to get multiple prescriptions for meloxicam
- Using meloxicam when it is obviously dangerous to do so, such as when drinking alcohol
- Trying but failing to stop using meloxicam
- Lying to or otherwise deceiving friends and family members about meloxicam use
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Rash and itchiness
- Obsessive thoughts about acquiring and using meloxicam
- Anxiety when incapable of getting meloxicam
Effects of meloxicam abuse
When you abuse meloxicam, you put yourself at risk for both immediate and long-term harm. Side effects of meloxicam abuse include the following:
- Damage to liver, kidneys, and pancreas
- Intestinal bleeding
- Heart attack
- Legal problems (if you acquire meloxicam via illicit means)
Meloxicam abuse and co-occurring disorders
People who struggle with substance abuse and addiction may also have an increased risk for the following mental health disorders:
- Anxiety disorders
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Bipolar disorder
Effects of meloxicam withdrawal and overdose
Effects of withdrawal: Ending your use of meloxicam will not trigger withdrawal symptoms. However, if you have been abusing meloxicam to self-medicate for pain, then stopping will cause that pain to return. That pain can push you back into meloxicam abuse. For this reason, if you have been abusing meloxicam for an extended period of time, you may need professional help to end this behavior in a safe and successful manner.
Effects of overdose: A person who experiences the following symptoms after abusing meloxicam may have overdosed, and needs immediate medical attention:
- Excessive drowsiness
- Vomiting blood
- Problems breathing