How Long Does Meloxicam Stay In Your System & How Does It Work

Last Updated: August 3, 2021

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Meloxicam (also known as Mobic and Vivlodex), like other NSAIDs, is used relatively worldwide to help treat pain and inflammation. Even though it’s considered a safer option than regular opioids, the patient should still be aware of Meloxicam half-life and how it works so that the medication can be used safely and adequately.

So, how long does Meloxicam stay in your system? How does it work? And how long does it take to work? Find out the answers to use Mobic safely.

How Does Meloxicam Work?

Mobic belongs to the class of drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). How does Meloxicam work exactly? The Meloxicam mechanism of action works by preventing the body from producing a particular group of molecules known as prostaglandins. The drug performs this action by inhibiting one of the key enzymes involved in prostaglandin synthesis, known as the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme. Prostaglandins contribute to several essential functions within the body, among which include modulating pain and inflammation. While prostaglandins are an important part of the pain pathway, they also serve other key purposes within the body.

Woman talking on the phone and looking at the package of pills.

This medication and other drugs like this are preferred over opioids due to their high probability of addiction. Meloxicam mechanism of action works at the source of inflammation instead of just blocking the patient’s pain, which is considered better for health in the long run.

How Long Does It Take for Meloxicam to Work?

Some minor improvements in pain and stiffness may be noticed while using Vivlodex treatment within the first 24-72 hours of use. However, it may take a couple of weeks of use to see a significant improvement. Because of the Meloxicam mechanism of action, the amount of time it takes to get proper pain relief also depends on how long the patient has been dealing with their condition, and what treatment they’ve been on, and their current treatment plan.

How Long Do Mobic Effects Last?

The efficiency of Mobic medication is usually experienced for up to 24 hours following the administration of the tablet. When comparing different NSAIDs, such as Meloxicam vs. ibuprofen, the effects of Mobic tend to last longer than many alternative options available.

Meloxicam Half-Life

According to the research on the clinical pharmacokinetics of Mobic, Meloxicam half-life in humans is about 15-20 hours. Meloxicam half-life period is approximately 19.5 hours for women and around 23.4 hours for men. This difference between the Meloxicam half-life period of Mobic tablets for men and women is because women process this drug faster. It should also be noted that NSAIDs, including Mobic, can raise blood pressure primarily when the drug is taken for the long term.

Meloxicam Drug Test: Will It Be Detected?

Vivlodex and drugs like it are mainly excreted from the body through urination and feces. Because of that, the drug may show up in a drug test within 3-5 days of taking the last dose. The medication also stays in the bloodstream for up to 80 hours, so they can still show up in a drug test for around five days as well.

Female doctor holding a urine sample for Meloxicam drug test.

However, it’s important to note that even though Vivlodex can show up on a drug test, it isn’t a drug that standard drug tests are looking for in particular. It can be detected and tested for if needed, but it isn’t a drug that’s tested explicitly on its own in standardized tests we see. It’s usually tested for in a specific meloxicam drug test. Generally, standard drug tests are only looking for illegal substances.

Can Mobic be a cause of a false positive drug test? Yes, it could be the reason in some cases. Mobic sometimes is known to cause a false positive urine drug test for THC. So, if Mobic for back pain or any other purpose was used recently, it is recommended to inform a physician about it and a drug-testing lab.

How Long Does Meloxicam Stay in Your System?

Based on this study about the safety and efficacy of Vivlodex in the treatment of osteoarthritis, the time of getting it out of the system depends on several factors. Some of them are: the amount taken, the period the medication has been received, and what kind of test is carried out to check the presence of the drug: urine, blood, hair, or saliva testing.

Urine Testing

This medication is excreted mainly through the urinary system, so the drug can show up in a urine test for three to five days after taking the last dose.

Blood Testing

Depending on the half-life of Meloxicam, its concentration reaches the maximum level in plasma between 2.5 to 7 hours after taking it. It takes about 80 hours to expel the medication from the blood completely. After stopping Mobic medication, tests can still detect its concentration. A blood test can show this medication even within three to five days.

Hair or Saliva Testing

Hair follicle testing is known to reveal the drugs that an individual has used for the last 90 days. Usually, illicit drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and other addictive substances are tested with this method. Therefore, NSAIDs typically are not included in the list of substances that the drug testing lab will be looking for.

Factors That Influence the Duration Mobic Stays In The System

Many different factors affect the duration the drug will stay in someone’s system.

These Include, but Aren’t Limited To:

  • Age
  • Body mass
  • Activity levels
  • Metabolism
  • Renal health
  • Interactions with other medications

How long the drug will stay in a patient’s system may depend on Mobic interactions with different drugs, foods, and drinks. According to a study published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science (JKMS), some medications such as Warfarin, Benzimidazole, and Methoxyamphetamines are shown to interact with Mobic by not only increasing the severity of side effects but also affecting the metabolism of Mobic. It results in a long time for Mobic to stay in one’s system.

If an overdose on Meloxicam had happened, this condition also increases the overall time for Mobic to remain in the system.

How long it is safe to take Vivlodex depends not only on the patient’s diagnosis but also on the severity of its side effects and possible interactions with other medications. Tramadol and Meloxicam, for example, can be used together to help provide more effective pain relief, which otherwise would not be possible if using tramadol alone. These two should, however, be taken together only upon the advice of a medical doctor.

To get rid of Mobic from an individual’s system faster, there is nothing much one can do as it will take its required time of approximately 80 hours to be expelled from the system completely. Any specific medication, medical detox, or anything else can’t hasten this process.

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Page Sources

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  5. Yocum, D., Fleischmann, R., Dalgin, P., Caldwell, J., Hall, D., & Roszko, P. (2000). Safety and efficacy of meloxicam in the treatment of osteoarthritis: a 12-week, double-blind, multiple-dose, placebo-controlled trial. The Meloxicam Osteoarthritis Investigators. Archives of internal medicine, 160(19), 2947–2954.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11041902/
  6. Choi, K. H., Kim, A. J., Son, I. J., Kim, K. H., Kim, K. B., Ahn, H., & Lee, E. B. (2010). Risk factors of drug interaction between warfarin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in practical setting. Journal of Korean medical science, 25(3), 337–341. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2826747/

Published on: May 14th, 2019

Updated on: August 3rd, 2021

About Author

Olivier George, Ph.D.

Olivier George is a medical writer and head manager of the rehab center in California. He spends a lot of time in collecting and analyzing the traditional approaches for substance abuse treatment and assessing their efficiency.

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.