Prescription Drug Information: Meloxicam

MELOXICAM- meloxicam tablet
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited

ATTENTION DISPENSER: Accompanying Medication Guide must be dispensed with this product.

Prescribing Information


Cardiovascular Risk

  • NSAIDs may cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, myocardial infarction, and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may increase with duration of use. Patients with cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease may be at greater risk (see WARNINGS and CLINICAL TRIALS).
  • Meloxicam is contraindicated for the treatment of peri-operative pain in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery (see WARNINGS).

Gastrointestinal Risk

  • NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events (see WARNINGS).


Meloxicam, an oxicam derivative, is a member of the enolic acid group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Each pale yellow to yellow tablet contains 7.5 mg or 15 mg meloxicam for oral administration. Meloxicam is chemically designated as 4-hydroxy-2-methyl-N -(5-methyl-2-thiazolyl)-2H -1,2-benzothiazine-3-carboxamide-1,1-dioxide. The molecular weight is 351.4. Its empirical formula is C14 H13 N3 O4 S2 and it has the following structural formula.

Image from Drug Label Content

Meloxicam is a pale yellow to yellow powder, practically insoluble in water, slightly soluble in dimethyl formamide and dimethyl sulphoxide. Meloxicam has an apparent partition coefficient (log P) app = 0.1 in n -octanol/buffer pH 7.4. Meloxicam has pKa values of 1.1 and 4.2.

Meloxicam is available as a tablet for oral administration containing 7.5 mg or 15 mg meloxicam.

The inactive ingredients in meloxicam tablets include colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone and sodium citrate dihydrate.


Mechanism of Action

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that exhibits anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities in animal models. The mechanism of action of meloxicam, like that of other NSAIDs, may be related to prostaglandin synthetase (cyclo-oxygenase) inhibition.



The absolute bioavailability of meloxicam capsules was 89% following a single oral dose of 30 mg compared with 30 mg IV bolus injection. Following single intravenous doses, dose-proportional pharmacokinetics were shown in the range of 5 mg to 60 mg. After multiple oral doses the pharmacokinetics of meloxicam capsules were dose-proportional over the range of 7.5 mg to 15 mg. Mean Cmax was achieved within four to five hours after a 7.5 mg meloxicam tablet was taken under fasted conditions, indicating a prolonged drug absorption. With multiple dosing, steady state concentrations were reached by Day 5. A second meloxicam concentration peak occurs around 12 to 14 hours post-dose suggesting biliary recycling.

Table 1 Single Dose and Steady State Pharmacokinetic Parameters for Oral 7.5 mg and 15 mg Meloxicam (Mean and % CV)*
Steady State Single Dose
PharmacokineticParameters(% CV) Healthymale adults(Fed) Elderlymales(Fed) Elderlyfemales(Fed) Renalfailure(Fasted) Hepaticinsufficiency(Fasted)
7.5 mg tablets 15 mgcapsules 15 mgcapsules 15 mgcapsules 15 mgcapsules
N 18 5 8 12 12
The parameter values in the Table are from various studies
not under high fat conditions
meloxicam tablets
VZ /f=Dose/(AUC•Kel )
Cmax [µg/mL] 1.05 (20) 2.3 (59) 3.2 (24) 0.59 (36) 0.84 (29)
tmax [h] 4.9 (8) 5 (12) 6 (27) 4 (65) 10 (87)
t1/2 [h] 20.1 (29) 21 (34) 24 (34) 18 (46) 16 (29)
CL/f [mL/min] 8.8 (29) 9.9 (76) 5.1 (22) 19 (43) 11 (44)
VZ /f § [L] 14.7 (32) 15 (42) 10 (30) 26 (44) 14 (29)

Food and Antacid Effects

Administration of meloxicam capsules following a high fat breakfast (75 g of fat) resulted in mean peak drug levels (i.e., Cmax ) being increased by approximately 22% while the extent of absorption (AUC) was unchanged. The time to maximum concentration (Tmax ) was achieved between 5 and 6 hours. No pharmacokinetic interaction was detected with concomitant administration of antacids. Based on these results, meloxicam can be administered without regard to timing of meals or concomitant administration of antacids.


The mean volume of distribution (Vss) of meloxicam is approximately 10 L. Meloxicam is ~ 99.4% bound to human plasma proteins (primarily albumin) within the therapeutic dose range. The fraction of protein binding is independent of drug concentration, over the clinically relevant concentration range, but decreases to ~ 99% in patients with renal disease. Meloxicam penetration into human red blood cells, after oral dosing, is less than 10%. Following a radiolabeled dose, over 90% of the radioactivity detected in the plasma was present as unchanged meloxicam.

Meloxicam concentrations in synovial fluid, after a single oral dose, range from 40% to 50% of those in plasma. The free fraction in synovial fluid is 2.5 times higher than in plasma, due to the lower albumin content in synovial fluid as compared to plasma. The significance of this penetration is unknown.


Meloxicam is almost completely metabolized to four pharmacologically inactive metabolites. The major metabolite, 5′-carboxy meloxicam (60% of dose), from P-450 mediated metabolism was formed by oxidation of an intermediate metabolite 5′-hydroxymethyl meloxicam which is also excreted to a lesser extent (9% of dose). In vitro studies indicate that cytochrome P-450 2C9 plays an important role in this metabolic pathway with a minor contribution of the CYP 3A4 isozyme. Patients’ peroxidase activity is probably responsible for the other two metabolites which account for 16% and 4% of the administered dose, respectively.


Meloxicam excretion is predominantly in the form of metabolites, and occurs to equal extents in the urine and feces. Only traces of the unchanged parent compound are excreted in the urine (0.2%) and feces (1.6%). The extent of the urinary excretion was confirmed for unlabeled multiple 7.5 mg doses: 0.5%, 6% and 13% of the dose were found in urine in the form of meloxicam, and the 5′-hydroxymethyl and 5′-carboxy metabolites, respectively. There is significant biliary and/or enteral secretion of the drug. This was demonstrated when oral administration of cholestyramine following a single IV dose of meloxicam decreased the AUC of meloxicam by 50%.

The mean elimination half-life (t1/2 ) ranges from 15 hours to 20 hours. The elimination half-life is constant across dose levels indicating linear metabolism within the therapeutic dose range. Plasma clearance ranges from 7 to 9 mL/min.

Special Populations


Elderly males (≥ 65 years of age) exhibited meloxicam plasma concentrations and steady state pharmacokinetics similar to young males. Elderly females (≥65 years of age) had a 47% higher AUCss and 32% higher Cmax,ss as compared to younger females (≤ 55 years of age) after body weight normalization. Despite the increased total concentrations in the elderly females, the adverse event profile was comparable for both elderly patient populations. A smaller free fraction was found in elderly female patients in comparison to elderly male patients.


Young females exhibited slightly lower plasma concentrations relative to young males. After single doses of 7.5 mg meloxicam, the mean elimination half-life was 19.5 hours for the female group as compared to 23.4 hours for the male group. At steady state, the data were similar (17.9 hours vs. 21.4 hours). This pharmacokinetic difference due to gender is likely to be of little clinical importance. There was linearity of pharmacokinetics and no appreciable difference in the Cmax or Tmax across genders. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed prescription drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual prescription drug label and package insert entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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