What Is Meloxicam Used For? Can Mobic Be Used For Back Pain?

Last Updated: August 3, 2021

Authored by Olivier George, Ph.D.

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

Meloxicam, known commonly by its brand name, Mobic, is approved by the FDA in the treatment of pain, swelling, and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, as an NSAID, it may be used for many other off-label indications.

What is Meloxicam used for? It is essential to know which indications are approved and which off-label Meloxicam uses have proven efficacy.

What Is Meloxicam Used For?

Mobic is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in the treatment of a few health conditions.

Approved Mobic Uses Include the Management of Symptoms of the Following:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (in patients two years and above)

Other health conditions that may see Meloxicam use, despite not being officially approved, otherwise known as off-label use, include the following:

  • Acute flares of gout
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Tendonitis
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Other sources of mild to moderate pain

Meloxicam For Arthritis

Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) approved by the FDA in the treatment of different kinds of arthritis, namely osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (including the juvenile form).

This medication is useful in the treatment of arthritis because it results in a reduction of pain, swelling, and inflammation. These are responsible for the symptoms of pain, discomfort, and limitation of motion that occurs in the joint spaces in this medical condition. It results in less pain and less stiffness for the person.

It does this by blocking enzymes in the body known as cyclooxygenase (COX), of which there are two variants: COX-1 and COX-2. By blocking these, it reduces the production of prostaglandin, a hormone that induces inflammation.

Information provided from studies has shown that Meloxicam use for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is highly effective. In addition, other studies provided data showing that it is effective in the medical treatment of osteoarthritis.

Mobic for Pain

As an NSAID, many people may include general pain relief among Meloxicam uses. Still, it is essential to know whether it can be safely used for this, similar to other drugs in its class, such as ibuprofen or diclofenac.

It is unlikely that someone who uses Meloxicam for pain will experience any adverse health effects that they wouldn’t experience with any other NSAID, such as GI bleeding or heart complications. However, it is best to use other drugs in its class as they are FDA-approved for the treatment of mild to moderate pain (which is not among approved Mobic uses) and are available over-the-counter, unlike Mobic, which is prescription only. There is also less of a risk of side effects occurring.

Meloxicam For Back Pain

One of the Meloxicam uses that is very popular is the use of Meloxicam for back pain. Back pain is a common problem for many, with its lifetime prevalence determined to be as high as 70% in some countries based on information from the WHO.

Man experiencing back pain outside.

Many cases of back pain are non-specific, with no particular cause being able to take responsibility. However, pain and swelling tend to be two symptoms present, which explains why non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very effective in their treatment, as they decrease both of these.

A study was carried out to see the length of time for patients with back pain to see improvements.

The Results Were as Follows:

  • Patients that used 15 mg Meloxicam for back pain experienced a significant improvement in lower back pain after a week, according to a 2015 study of oral Meloxicam efficacy and tolerability. The pills began to act within an hour of usage, improving the patient's situation each day.
  • Patients who received Meloxicam injections into the lower back experienced reduced back pain after 24 hours. Three months later, they were active and experienced significantly less amount of pain.
  • Patients who undergo the intravenous approach experienced immediate relief, as the medication began to act within 30 minutes of administration that is twice faster than oral intake.

Mobic for Gout

It is also effective for the treatment of gout. Mobic’s class of drugs is known for quick relief for people who suffer from acute gout episodes, and they can help relieve the pain and shorten the attack if the drug is taken in the first twenty-four hours.

A study that involved treating gout patients with Meloxicam proved that the drug helps to achieve an improvement if 15 mg doses are administered orally once a day for seven days.

Meloxicam for Tooth Pain

The pain from toothaches tends to be over moderate, so most people will want to get the most effective analgesic that they can. It is essential to know whether the use of Meloxicam for pain includes the management of toothaches.

For example, information from a 2015 study showed that 15 mg of Meloxicam provided analgesia in patients that had just undergone oral surgeries. The study also showed that pre-medicating patients with the medication before an orthodontic surgery increased the efficacy of the anesthesia when compared to a placebo or no pre-medication.

Using Mobic Correctly

Mobic can be used in different forms – all in various types of dosages. There are tablets and capsules for patients that will use the pill form, and there are liquid forms that can be used orally, by injection, or as a topical cream. To avoid Mobic overdose, patients must previously discuss dosage form and its quantity with a physician.

Doctor talking to a patient about Meloxicam uses.

Patients are advised to use this drug with a lot of water (up to 240ml) unless the doctor says otherwise. For patients that go the route of using the liquid form orally, they are advised to shake the bottle gently and measure with a measuring device or spoon any time they want to take a dose from it. The dosages will be recommended as appropriate per patient by the medical doctor or pharmacist. It will also let the patient know how long they can take Meloxicam.

Some Other Things That a Patient Should Pay Attention to When Using This Drug Are:

  • Do not lie down until at least ten minutes have passed since using the drug
  • If the patient notices stomach discomforts after using the medicine, it can be taken with food or with an antacid
  • The lowest effective dose should be the recommended dose
  • Increasing the doses to be higher than is recommended increases the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding
  • Do not switch between different forms of dosing (e.g., from the capsule to tablet) without the permission of a qualified doctor
  • Try to use the drug at the same time each day
  • Wait until at least two weeks before starting to worry about seeing results
  • Mixing Mobic and alcohol may result in severe gastrointestinal problems, so it is advised not to drink while one is on this medication

Best Time of Day to Take Meloxicam

There’s no advantage over taking Mobic in the morning over taking it at night or in the evening. The best time is that which the patient finds most comfortable. However, it should be noted that those who experience their pain mainly during the daytime will benefit from taking it in the morning.

However, it is vital to always take Meloxicam following food, regardless of the time it is used. It will reduce the risk of GI and heart side effects occurring.

Precautions and Warnings for Using Meloxicam

The possible side effects caused by not taking note of precautions is a major reason why Meloxicam medical prescription is required. Most of those side effects, such as heart and cardiovascular complications, can be avoided by paying more attention to detail.

Identifying Allergies

If the patient knows that they are allergic to this NSAID, they must inform the physician or pharmacist who prescribes it. Any other allergies should also be made known, just in case they could cause any interference with the effectiveness or functionality of the drug. Other NSAIDs like Celebrex could also be prescribed in such cases.

Providing an Up-To-Date Medical History

The doctor or pharmacist also needs to be aware of the medical history of the patient. If a patient has any of the following conditions in their medical history, the prescription may need to be reconsidered:

  • Asthma
  • Stomach or intestine problems (e.g., ulcers, bleeding, recurring heartburns)
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart/liver disease
  • Bleeding/clotting problems or blood disorders

Staying Hydrated

It should be noted that using NSAID drugs such as Meloxicam sometimes leads to kidney problems. These problems could occur primarily if the medication is used while the patient is dehydrated, has kidney disease, has heart failure, takes certain drugs that interfere with NSAIDs, or is an older adult. Users should avoid dehydration by drinking fresh water regularly. They can quickly identify any kidney problems if the patient notices a change in the amount of urine they pass.

Using Mobic Safely

There are few approved Meloxicam uses. Therefore, it is important to use it with caution when using it to treat off-label conditions and reduce the risk of negative health effects, such as GI or heart complications.

When used exactly as prescribed by a doctor and following a meal, the risk of side effects can be kept low, and the patient can remain safe.

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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.