Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory prescribed to patients with inflammation. This NSAID pain reliever is primarily prescribed to individuals suffering from chronic arthritic pain as it targets inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.
Meloxicam can come in the following forms:
Unlike other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen, meloxicam is not available over-the-counter due to its potency.
How Does It Work in the Body?
NSAIDs prevent the creation and release of a group of lipids in the body called prostaglandins. Studies have shown that these lipids, or fats, may play both beneficial and detrimental roles in inflammation. Higher amounts of prostaglandins in the body interact with nerve endings, which results in pain to those centers in the body.
For individuals suffering from the painful symptoms of arthritis, blocking these lipids through medication provides relief to those areas by decreasing inflammation.
The Difference Between Meloxicam and Other Prescription Pain Killers
Meloxicam can be just as effective as narcotics when it comes to treating chronic pain, but it belongs to a completely different drug class that is not on the DEA’s Schedule for Controlled Drugs. Since meloxicam is not known to cause physical dependence and does not have a high potential for abuse, it can be a safe alternative to treating pain without relying on intoxicating opioids.
The critical difference between meloxicam and opioids is the way they act in the body. Opioids are narcotics that target areas in the brain to treat pain, while meloxicam and other NSAIDS target inflammation and pain directly.
The Symptoms and Effects of Meloxicam Abuse
Even though meloxicam does not have high abuse potential, the threat of addiction or dependence is still there. When an individual abuses meloxicam, they not only put themselves at risk for severe damage to vital organs in the body, but they also risk psychological dependence. Individuals can become psychologically addicted to the feeling of pain relief that meloxicam provides. They may become reliant on meloxicam to treat pain rather than practicing alternative pain management.
Symptoms of Meloxicam abuse include:
- Taking it without a prescription. Using meloxicam without a prescription is a form of abuse that can be particularly dangerous when it interacts with other drugs in the body. If individuals are unaware of these interactions, overdose, and more severe side effects are more likely.
- Taking it not as prescribed. Even if an individual is prescribed a drug, abuse or misuse is still possible. Taking the medication in higher doses than prescribed by a physician is considered substance abuse and could also lead to overdose and severe side effects.
Side Effects of Meloxicam
NSAIDs like meloxicam have side effects that can impact different systems in the body. The main concern with NSAIDs is their ability to erode the gastrointestinal tract, which can damage the digestive system or cause it to malfunction.
Common side effects include:
- Stomachaches and diarrhea
- Itching or rash
Severe side effects include:
- Heart attack
- Bloody or black stools
- Vomiting blood
- Liver damage
- High blood pressure
- Blistering or peeling skin
- Increased urination that points to kidney damage or failure
The presence of meloxicam with other drugs like anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, corticosteroids, and lithium in the body can cause harmful drug interactions that contribute to and increase the likelihood of severe side effects and overdose.
Long-Term Effects of Chronic Meloxicam Use
Even when prescribed by a doctor to address chronic pain, meloxicam can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract if taken for extended periods of time. Communicating any side effects of the drug with a physician can ensure that any of these effects do not cause lasting damage to the body. In the case of abuse and addiction, damage and erosion can begin and continue before an individual is even aware.
Overdose from meloxicam occurs when higher doses are taken than prescribed or when taken in conjunction with other drugs or alcohol.
Symptoms of overdose include:
- Coughing up blood
- Shallow breathing
Meloxicam is not known to cause physical dependence, so no symptoms of withdrawal occur when discontinued. Individuals typically experience the return of pain to areas in their body with inflammation once they stop taking meloxicam; this can make recovery from addiction more difficult.
Meloxicam Addiction Treatment
Those addicted to meloxicam can benefit from treatment in an addiction recovery center to learn new coping skills and pain management techniques. As stated, clients with addiction to meloxicam deal with a psychological dependence on the drug because it is the most effective and convenient practice for relieving pain.
Alternative Practices for Relieving Pain
- Low-impact exercise
- Changes in diet
- Relaxation techniques
- Physical therapy
In meloxicam addiction treatment at Laguna Shores Recovery, clients learn how addiction has affected their lives physically and psychologically through psychotherapy. Receiving treatment from a team of experienced professionals that celebrate milestones and provide support along the way is the encouragement needed to face the trials in recovery from meloxicam addiction.
Prescription NSAIDs like meloxicam can be beneficial for individuals with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, but they also have addiction potential as individuals may rely heavily on the drug to relieve their pain. Receiving treatment for meloxicam addiction at Laguna Shores Recovery will provide support through the struggles of pain management while treating the psychological effects of addiction. Reach out today to learn more about our treatment plans at (954) 329-1118.