Is Meloxicam Addictive? Mobic Medication Overview

Last Updated: August 3, 2021

Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Meloxicam medication is a prescription drug classified as an NSAID that is used for pain symptoms. While this medicine is known to provide an effective alleviation of inflammation and pain, patients are at risk of abuse when they do not take Meloxicam medication following the instructions provided by a physician.

For this reason, it is vital to find answers to all important questions regarding this drug.

What is Meloxicam, and what is it used for? Is Meloxicam addictive? What to do if abuse is suspected?

What Is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam medication is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, often referred to as an NSAID.

What is Meloxicam used for? Mobic is primarily utilized to assist in treating pain and inflammation in patients diagnosed with joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or osteoarthritis. There are, however, other cases where a doctor may prescribe Mobic to a person, for example, it is also prescribed for postoperative pain. In such cases, an individual may experience pain that is related to a condition other than arthritis.

Elderly woman having arthritis pain.

This medicine is a prescription drug, unlike other NSAIDs that are available over-the-counter. It should only be taken as prescribed by the doctor because it has the potential for side effects such as ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, and cardiac failure, which need to be monitored closely under a doctor’s supervision. If the drug is taken without a prescription, the chances of overdosing and subsequent adverse effects increase significantly. A doctor will evaluate the patient’s history of gastrointestinal, cardiac, or renal problems and prescribe the drug accordingly.

Is Mobic Safe?

Opioid painkillers work by acting on the hormones controlling the painful sensation. They have been widely used for the pain associated with arthritis, but their side effects and potential for dependence make them less than an ideal choice. NSAIDs are more effective and less harmful alternatives. They act by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for inflammation.

Meloxicam is a safe and effective NSAID alternative to opioids. It does not have very extreme side effects. However, it can have mild side effects on some people. It can also produce severe side effects in some cases. That is why it is best to take the first dose at home, especially if you have a job that requires high concentration. In some cases, there are chances of gastrointestinal bleeding. Contact your doctor immediately if this happens.

Mobic Drug Class

Patients prescribed pain-relieving medication always try to select the most effective and the safest pharmaceutical option. Not to become a part of the opioid epidemic, patients often look for less addictive medication to treat their pain. Meloxicam addictive potential is low, and Meloxicam medication is widely known for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammation abilities, but what drug class does it belong to?

Is Mobic A Narcotic?

Anti-inflammatory Mobic effect happens due to the inhibition of pain receptors associated with antipyretic and analgesic effects of the drug. Mobic does not alter the mood of a person taking it, as narcotics usually do. Therefore, the verdict is that this medication is not a narcotic.

Is Mobic A Controlled Substance?

Mobic medication is a controlled substance because the drug gets dangerous when it is misused or overdosed. In addition, high doses of Mobic medication as other NSAIDs can cause significant issues in patients with gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, allergy to NSAIDs, asthma, and heart conditions. Therefore, a physician’s approval and supervision are necessary due to the side effects of Mobic medication.

Doctor writing a Mobic prescription.

Although patients can obtain it only with a prescription, Mobic is not on the DEA list of controlled substances. Therefore, in this meaning, this medicine is not a controlled or scheduled substance.

Is Mobic An NSAID?

The non-steroid drugs that address the problems associated with a chemical compound contributing to the inflammation in bone joints, i.e., prostaglandins, are tagged as NSAIDs. In reference to this definition, Mobic belongs to the group of drugs categorized as NSAIDs.

In the case of pain or swelling in any part of the body due to any reason, the immune response activates, and the cells start giving aid to the damaged area. To relieve pain other than curing or treating the reason, which takes time, diagnosis, and patience, certain pain inhibitors like NSAIDs are used.

Is Meloxicam Addictive?

A large number of people are provided with this medicine when they complain about pain symptoms. It does not provide a euphoric high as it simply blocks the enzymes involved in the inflammation pathway for pain relief. But the pain-relieving property can make a person dependent on this drug. Some underlying psychological factors can also contribute to Meloxicam addictive potential, in which case, therapy can help resolve the underlying problems so that the dependence can be cured.

For individuals who don’t experience any health condition that Mobic aims to treat, this drug is not advised for any purpose. High doses of this medication can lead to several adverse effects and severe health issues. Therefore, this drug has many precautions and is not permitted for certain groups of people, pregnant women, for example. It is also known for many dangerous interactions with other drugs and substances, so an inexperienced individual falls under the risk of these interactions, Meloxicam with tramadol, for example, which could lead them to unwanted health conditions that may be difficult to manage even for the health professional.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mobic Abuse?

Meloxicam abuse signs and symptoms should be found and identified early on, and proper treatment and therapy should be provided on time. Although this medicine does not provide a euphoric high, its abuse can result in an overdose. Comparing symptoms of Meloxicam vs. Celebrex abuse, they are pretty similar.

It Is Advisable to Look Out for the Following Signs:

  • The person may run out of their medication before the expected date. In most cases, the individual will need to pick up a new prescription of the drug once every month. If their supply of medication is done before the next pickup date, it may signify Mobic abuse.
  • The individual may frequently discuss ways to get more Mobic since they might only have a single prescription.
  • Some patients may try to get a prescription for this drug from more than one doctor. These prescriptions are then distributed to different pharmacies.
  • A person may start to steal Mobic from friends and family if they are also using this medication to treat pain and inflammation.

Abusing this medicine can lead to serious adverse events. For this reason, individuals who are at risk of abusing prescription drugs are not advised to be provided with this medication. The individual needs to understand Meloxicam side effects and follow the instructions strictly.

Mobic Addiction Treatment

Even though Meloxicam addictive potential is not significant, it is important to note that the potential for abuse always exists. Although Meloxicam withdrawal signs are not very extreme when its use is discontinued, patients can experience some adverse effects, such as the pain they initially treated may suddenly return. Further side effects of leaving this medicine can also be observed in patients.

A man taking Meloxicam medication with a glass of water.

To assist the individual with Meloxicam abuse, a rehabilitation program is not always necessary, but it may be considered if other drugs are being abused in combination with this drug. This type of program would provide a person with personalized therapy created by a health professional who understands the patient’s level of abuse and develops a treatment plan suited to the particular patient’s needs. The patient may be provided with an alternative to Mobic for a short period. Additional detoxification may also be provided to get Meloxicam out of the system faster, reduce the risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms and relapse.

When patients know what Meloxicam is and how it acts on the human body, it becomes easier to cope with dependence.

Avoiding Mobic Abuse

This medication is popular due to its relative safety and efficacy in the treatment of arthritis as compared to opioids. Although abuse or addiction to this drug is not very common, it has been observed in a significant number of people. Patients should be aware of the potential side effects that may appear after Meloxicam abuse. If this medication is abused, there is a risk of overdose, which can become fatal without professional medical treatment and even cause the person to enter into a coma. However, a few simple steps can help overcome the addiction to this drug if it happens.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Meloxicam a Strong Painkiller?

Yes. It is a potent NSAID prescribed for the treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile arthritis. It acts directly on the cyclooxygenase (COX 1 and 2), which play an essential role in inflammation, hence stopping inflammation. It is stronger than similar NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and has similar effectiveness as opioids.

Should I Take Meloxicam at Night or in the Morning?

The time of day when it is taken depends upon a patient’s specific needs, and a doctor can suggest a time or change it based on the patient’s specific case. For example, it can be taken in the morning so that its effects, which include insomnia, last during the day and do not disturb the patient’s sleep during the night. However, some patients might feel that they can get better sleep at night if they take a dose before going to bed so that the pain does not disturb their sleep.

How Long Can You Take Meloxicam?

The tolerance of this medicine for as much as 18 months is good compared to standard NSAIDs. So this medication can be taken up to 15 mg once a day without adverse effects for most patients. Only a small fraction of patients experience GI bleeding and consequently have to discontinue the use before this period.

Is Meloxicam Safe to Take Daily?

Meloxicam is prescribed as a once-daily medication as it has been found to be safe and effective at this dosage to treat arthritis-associated pain. For adults, the initial dose is 7.5 mg once a day, and the maximum dosage is 15 mg once a day.


Page Sources

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Published on: May 14th, 2019

Updated on: August 3rd, 2021

About Author

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed is a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He is graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed Zayed has a passion for writing medical and health care articles and focuses on providing engaging and trustworthy information to readers.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.