Meloxicam and Tramadol: Can You Take Meloxicam With Tramadol?

Last Updated: June 18, 2024

Dr. Norman Chazin Reviewed by Dr. Norman Chazin
0 sources cited

Surgical procedures requiring improved pain management methods will rise by at least 25% in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) over the next decade.

For these scenarios, a multimodal analgesia approach combining tramadol and meloxicam is particularly helpful in overcoming the drugs’ tolerance, efficacy, and action onset limitations, increasing their analgesic effect synergistically for early recovery.

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, while tramadol is a weak opioid used for moderate to moderately severe pain treatment. Is it safe to take tramadol and meloxicam together? Continue reading to learn about the differences between each medication and their adverse effects and interactions.

Pain Management Overview

Pain can severely affect an individual’s quality of life and capacity to carry out daily activities. Pain management protocols focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating pain, aiming to restore the patient’s ability to lead a normal life.

The management of pain often involves a multimodal approach, combining different methods and medications to achieve optimal pain relief. These methods can include:

  • Use of medications such as NSAIDs, opioids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and local anesthetics.
  • Techniques like physical therapy, acupuncture, psychological therapy and lifestyle changes.
  • Nerve blocks, epidural injections, and other minimally invasive surgeries.

Let’s focus on the meloxicam vs tramadol approach.

What’s the Difference Between Tramadol and Meloxicam?

Traditionally, opioids were heavily used to manage pain. However, with the growing opioid crisis in the U.S. and the fact that even a single dose can increase the risk of opioid addiction in patients, there has been an important shift in healthcare toward reducing the use of this drug.

Minimizing opioid prescriptions required exploring alternatives, such as meloxicam, to manage pain safely. Yet, these two medications don’t belong to the same drug class and have different mechanisms of action.

Consult the chart below for tramadol vs meloxicam comparison:

Feature Tramadol (Ultram) Meloxicam (Mobic)
Drug Class Centrally-acting opioid analgesic Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)
Mechanism of Action Binds to mu-opioid receptors and inhibits norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake Inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes, reducing prostaglandin production
Primary Use Moderate to moderately severe pain Mild to moderate pain and inflammation
Indications Chronic pain, postoperative pain, injury-related pain Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders
Onset of Action Within one hour Several hours
Peak Effects 2-3 hours Longer onset, prolonged action
Duration Shorter half-life, requires multiple doses per day Long half-life, once-daily dosing
Common Side Effects Nausea, dizziness, constipation, headache, drowsiness Gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea
Serious Side Effects Dependence, withdrawal symptoms, seizures, serotonin syndrome Cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues, renal impairment, allergic reactions
Drug Interactions CNS depressants, SSRIs, and other opioids Other NSAIDs, anticoagulants, and medications affecting renal function
Risk of Abuse And Dependence High, caution with a history of substance abuse Low
Prescription When non-opioid pain relievers are insufficient Preferred for long-term management of chronic inflammatory conditions
Pregnancy/Lactation It may cause neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. Tramadol may pass into breast milk in small amounts. It may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus and other fetal risks. Data unavailable if Meloxicam passes into breast milk. Caution is advised.

Can You Take Tramadol and Meloxicam Together?

There is tentative evidence that combining tramadol and meloxicam may lead to better pain relief through synergistic activity.

Research testing the combination of tramadol 25 mg and meloxicam 7.5 mg had an analgesic effect similar to meloxicam 15 mg alone. Both were more effective than tramadol 50 mg alone for pain relief. These findings match other study results showing that the tramadol and meloxicam combination produced a dose-dependent analgesic effect.

These data suggest that meloxicam and tramadol together have an effective synergistic interaction involving both opioid and serotonin receptors, making them a promising tool in pain management.

Which Is Stronger, Tramadol or Meloxicam?

When comparing meloxicam vs tramadol, the most advisable option is to prioritize effectiveness over mere strength. Research has shown that meloxicam offers similar or even better analgesic effects compared to other NSAIDs, with longer-lasting pain relief than some salicylic acids and even tramadol in certain scenarios.

So, which is better for pain, meloxicam or tramadol? It depends on the medical scenario and type of pain being treated.

Meloxicam pills effectively manage inflammatory pain and provide long-lasting relief, making them ideal for chronic pain management. Tramadol, being an opioid, is stronger for acute, severe pain but may not offer the same duration of relief as meloxicam. While meloxicam is better for chronic inflammatory conditions, tramadol is preferred for immediate, severe pain relief.

Meloxicam and Tramadol Side Effects

Although clinical settings are using tramadol and meloxicam together, like all medications, both can cause side effects that vary from mild to severe. The tramadol and meloxicam side effects may include:

Meloxicam Side Effects

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Liver damage
  • Allergic reactions (rash, swelling, trouble breathing)

Tramadol Side Effects

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Dependence and withdrawal symptoms
  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome (agitation, rapid heart rate, muscle twitching)
  • Allergic reactions (rash, swelling, trouble breathing)

Meloxicam and Tramadol Interactions

Medication Interaction with Meloxicam (Mobic) Interaction with Tramadol (Ultram)
Cidofovir Increases risk of kidney injury May decrease the excretion rate of Tramadol
Methotrexate Increases risk of kidney damage No specific interaction was noted
Aspirin Increases risk of NSAID-related adverse effects No specific interaction was noted
Quinapril May reduce kidney function, particularly in elderly or dehydrated individuals No specific interaction was noted
Propoxyphene No specific interaction noted Increases risk of opioid-related adverse effects, including overdose and dependence
Dapoxetine Increases risk of gastrointestinal bleeding Increases risk of serotonin syndrome
Naltrexone Increases risk of liver damage Reduces or eliminates Tramadol’s effects

While specific interactions are noted for some drugs, caution is advised when combining these prescription medications with others due to potential risks such as kidney and liver injury, opioid-related adverse effects and serotonin syndrome. Meloxicam and alcohol, for example, is always a no go.

Consult your healthcare provider for safe and effective use of meloxicam and tramadol in pain management and other medical conditions.

Are Meloxicam and Tramadol Addictive Medications?

Meloxicam and tramadol taken together should only be used as directed by your doctor to prevent abuse or an accidental overdose.

As an opioid, tramadol has a higher risk of dependence and addiction, particularly when misused, which involves taking higher doses than recommended, using it longer than advised or combining it with other substances. This risk is linked to the euphoria opioids can produce, increasing the danger of tramadol addiction and overdose with excessive use.

Can I Take Meloxicam with Tramadol − Bottom Line

The combination of tramadol and meloxicam has a synergic effect that may enhance pain relief through their different mechanisms of action. Meloxicam, an NSAID, effectively reduces inflammation and pain, while tramadol, an opioid analgesic, targets moderate to severe pain. This combination can be particularly beneficial for managing pain more effectively.

However, since tramadol carries the risk of addiction and dependence, approach this combination with caution and awareness. Follow your doctor’s advice before starting this combination to ensure it is appropriate for your condition’s level of pain and to manage any potential drug side effects or interactions.

If you suspect an opioid addiction, find a local rehab center for guidance and treatment to overcome tramadol addiction.

People Also Ask

Can you take tramadol with meloxicam?

Yes, the combination of meloxicam and tramadol has proven effective. Yet, you need to consult your healthcare provider first to ensure safety and monitor for potential side effects or interactions.

Is meloxicam stronger than tramadol?

Tramadol is stronger for acute, severe pain, while meloxicam is effective for long-lasting relief in chronic inflammatory conditions.

Which is safer tramadol or meloxicam?

Meloxicam is generally safer due to lower risks of addiction and dependence compared to tramadol.

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Page Sources

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  4. Opioid crisis | HRSA. (2023, December 1).
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  7. Isiordia-Espinoza, M. A., et al. (2012). Pre-emptive analgesia with the combination of tramadol plus meloxicam for third molar surgery: a pilot study. British Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 50(7), 673–677.
  8. Isiordia-Espinoza, M. A., et al. (2012). Synergism between tramadol and meloxicam in the formalin test involves both opioidergic and serotonergic pathways. Drug Development Research, 73(1), 43-50.
  9. Khosraviani, F., Saberi-Demneh, A., Asadollahifar, R., Nakhostin, A., & Khazaei, P. (2020). Post-operative pain management with meloxicam: A systematic literature review in the field of dentistry. Oral Surgery, 13(2), 188-196.
Retrieved on June 18, 2024.

Published on: May 14th, 2019

Updated on: June 18th, 2024


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