Why You Should Avoid Drinking Alcohol With Meloxicam

Meloxicam is the generic name of a medication available under various brand names, including Mobic, Vivlodex, and Anjeso, depending on the manufacturer and country of distribution, according to Drugs.com. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is commonly used to relieve pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other musculoskeletal disorders, per Patient. It works by reducing the production of certain chemicals in the body that cause pain, inflammation, and fever. Meloxicam is available in tablet and capsule form and is typically taken orally once daily after food. Your doctor may vary your dosage and the duration of your treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication. 

As with most medications, meloxicam may cause some unwanted side effects — these can include stomach upset, headache, dizziness, and drowsiness. If you're planning to drink alcohol while taking the medication, this might not be a good idea for several reasons.

Why meloxicam shouldn't be mixed with alcohol

According to Medical News Today, meloxicam can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines. This can result in more minor symptoms of digestive upset such as nausea or heartburn, but can also cause more serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. According to Healthline, although alcohol doesn't directly cause ulcers, heavy drinking is a risk factor. Therefore, consuming alcohol while taking meloxicam may increase the likelihood of these side effects and make them more severe (per Drugs.com).

In addition to gastrointestinal side effects, liver damage is listed as a side effect of meloxicam, per Medical News Today. Likewise, alcohol consumption has been shown to be a strong risk factor for developing liver cirrhosis. The liver is responsible for processing and breaking down alcohol, and excessive drinking can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. The combination of alcohol and meloxicam may further strain the liver and risk other serious health complications.

Side effects of meloxicam you should know about

While meloxicam can be an effective medication for managing pain and inflammation, it's important to be aware of other potential side effects. In addition to gastrointestinal problems, using meloxicam may increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, particularly if you have pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, says the Mayo Clinic. Therefore, it is important to use meloxicam with caution.

Meloxicam may also affect kidney function, causing bloody urine, lower back pain, and swelling in various parts of the body. Other less common side effects of meloxicam may include headache, dizziness, rash, and water retention. An allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis has also been reported; however, it is rare. Generally speaking, it's always best to have regular kidney and liver function tests if you are taking meloxicam long-term. If you experience any of the above-listed side effects while taking meloxicam, please consult with your doctor, who can help determine the best course of action.