Meloxicam and Alcohol

Estimated reading time: 33 minute(s)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are the drug of choice for millions of people struggling with pain. Meloxicam or Mobic is a popular NSAID drug that claims to resolve issues like fever, headache, joint pain, and other discomfort. Because this category of medication is readily available and so commonly used, people assume it is safe for daily use. Many become so habitual of them that they routinely mix them with alcohol and other substances without perceiving the risks of doing so.

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In reality, combining Meloxicam with alcohol can be very dangerous and affect the body in multiple ways. Sometimes, the complications are slow and not so prominent, but many people may also develop sudden side effects that can wreak havoc on their health. So if you or someone you know has been using this combination for some time, it is imperative to know why combining Mobic with alcohol is not a good idea and what side effects to keep in mind.

What are the Side Effects of Alcohol and Meloxicam? Short-Term Risks

All experts strictly forbid their patients from using Meloxicam with alcohol because this combination can lead to immediate side effects and risks. Some of these side effects may include the following:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Coffee ground-like particles in vomit, indicating internal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech 
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fluid retention
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin reactions, such as  blisters or rashes, in sensitive people

Long-Term Side Effects Of Mixing Meloxicam and Alcohol

Many people who do not experience any immediate side effects of mixing Meloxicam with alcohol may believe the combination is safe for future use. However, what they don’t realize is that both substances are silently working in the background to do the damage, which can eventually surface within a few months or years in the form of the following complications:


Both alcohol and Mobic can put a person at a heightened risk of gastritis, a condition in which the stomach cells inflame, leading to complications such as:

  • Low blood iron due to malabsorption
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach damage
  • Stomach cancer
  • Low levels of vitamin B12 cause irreversible nerve damage and mental problems 

Heart Attacks

Alcohol is among the most significant risk factors for heart problems. These heart issues are particularly prevalent in people who have been drinking alcohol for years or are heavy drinkers. This risk of heart attack and other complications may increase when someone combines alcohol with Meloxicam or another NSAID. If you or someone you know has been using alcohol and Meloxicam for some time, keep an eye out for the following symptoms, as they may indicate a heart attack:

  • Chest pain
  • Exhaustion
  • Pain in the arm or shoulder
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Slurry speech
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diaphoresis
  • Vision changes

Renal Complications

Meloxicam and other NSAID drugs can cause acute injury to one or both kidneys, which may quickly spread and gradually become long-term. The kidneys require specific lipids for proper functioning, and Meloxicam can interfere with their production. As a result, the overall kidney function deteriorates, making it difficult for the organs to balance salt and water content in the body. The risk of these renal complications is more in people who have been using Meloxicam with alcohol for some time.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Meloxicam and alcohol can be dangerous when combined as they significantly increase a user’s bleeding risk. While the exact mechanism through which this combination increases bleeding, experts have warned everyone about the potential risk. The FDA has advised all companies to put a warning on all boxes of Meloxicam that informs users not to combine it with alcohol to minimize the possibility of ulcers, bleeds, and holes in the stomach and intestines.

Remember that Meloxicam alone can also increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. However, this risk greatly intensifies when someone combines it with alcohol. Alcohol also messes with the body’s ability to form platelets, cells found in the blood that control bleeding. With low platelets, the risk of internal bleeding further heightens. The scary thing about the phenomenon is that many people may avoid the symptoms of internal bleeding until they become worse enough to disrupt their daily life.


Many people use Meloxicam to relieve the painful symptoms of gout. However, not many know that when they combine it with alcohol, the effect of this painkiller is canceled. On the other hand, the combination can flare up gout by swelling and inflaming the joints.


Meloxicam and other NSAIDs are unsafe for long-term use, mainly because of their corrosive effects on the stomach and other gut parts. These medications can scar the stomach, leading to ulcers and other painful sores that may cause uncomfortable digestive symptoms. Combining Meloxicam with alcohol can further increase the risk and severity of these ulcers and worsen them to the extent that they may start bleeding or harboring dangerous bacteria.


Lastly, combining alcohol with Meloxicam can increase a person’s risk of an overdose. This overdose can bring on various side effects, such as:

  • Increased fatigue levels
  • Severe stomach ache
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Blue fingernails, skin, and lips

Liver Issues

Alcohol is particularly notorious for its direct negative impacts on liver health. However, most people are unaware that Meloxicam and other NSAIDs can also exert similar effects on the organ. Hence, combining both can significantly heighten the risk of liver damage, quickly leading to irreversible liver disease and cirrhosis.

How to Avoid Dangerous Meloxicam and Alcohol Interactions?

In addition to alcohol, Meloxicam carries the potential to cross-interact with many other medicines, leading to severe complications. Hence, if you use it daily, ensure that your prescribing doctor is aware of all medications you are currently on to avoid any unpleasant interactions. The following list describes some medicines that are most likely to cross-react with Meloxicam and trigger side effects:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: These blood pressure-controlling medications can damage the kidneys when combined with meloxicam.
  • Beta-blockers: Meloxicam can interact with beta-blockers to reduce their efficacy in blood pressure management.
  • Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate: This medication can interact with Meloxicam to cause damage and necrosis of the intestines.
  • Angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs): Combining Meloxicam with ARBs can increase the risk of acquiring renal issues.
  • Cyclosporine: Meloxicam can decrease the clearance of cyclosporine from the body, elevating its levels to a toxic level and causing side effects.
  • Corticosteroids: Meloxicam and steroids can damage the gut and increase the risk of bleeding from different body parts.
  • Bile Acid Sequestrants: These medications can reduce the absorption of Meloxicam in the gut, reducing its painkiller effects.
  • Digoxin: Meloxicam causes digoxin to accumulate in the blood, causing toxicity
  • Blood thinners: Meloxicam and blood thinners, when taken together, can increase the risk of internal bleeding.
  • Methotrexate: By decreasing this drug’s clearance from the body, Meloxicam can lead to methotrexate toxicity.
  • Diuretics: A combination of Meloxicam and diuretics can severely harm the kidneys.
  • Probenecid: Probenecid can elevate the levels of Meloxicam in the body, leading to side effects.
  • SSRIs or SNRIs: Combined with Meloxicam, both SSRIs and SNRIs can increase bleeding risks

Remember that. Meloxicam also carries the potential to interact with herbal medications, supplements, and extracts, such as St. John’s wort, ginger, etc. Hence, it is imperative to run everything you are currently using by your doctor to avoid unnecessary complications.

Managing Meloxicam and Alcohol Addiction

While Meloxicam is not an addictive substance with minimal dependence potential, many people who combine it with alcohol may become addicted. Moreover, some who become habitual of the pain relief it provides may also continue to abuse it in higher doses even when they no longer need it. Such addiction can be hazardous and put the body at risk of several complications. As an NSAID, excessive consumption of Meloxicam can scar the gut and heighten the risk of bleed, which may lead to serious life-threatening complications.

Fortunately, it is possible to stop yourself from using Meloxicam with alcohol with help from an addiction treatment center. A typical treatment program in these facilities includes participation in several levels of care to address the problem from all directions. These levels of care include the following:

Medical Detox

Medically-supervised detoxification program involves helping patients quit their active substance use. The entire process takes place under the supervision of a trained team that monitors a patient’s vital signs and ensures they do not develop any complications.

Individual and Group Counseling

Counseling sessions at an addiction treatment rehab provide patients a private and public platform to open up about their struggles and meet new people with similar issues. These sessions provide them a valuable opportunity to grow from their problem and form strong bonds in the community for ongoing support.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy helps people examine their addiction issues more deeply and discover the root causes of these behaviors. Once they identify the causes, it gets easier for them to manage them and support long-term recovery.

Medication-Assisted Programs

These programs facilitate withdrawals and detox from Meloxicam and alcohol addiction by providing clients with appropriate medication to control cravings and other issues.

Support Groups

Many rehabs also connect their patients to support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and 12-step groups. These support groups offer constant growth and opportunities to maintain sobriety after a patient leaves rehab.


Why do people use Meloxicam?

Meloxicam belongs to a class of drugs called Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. These painkillers are prescribed to manage painful medications, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. This medication is often the preferred painkiller over opioids as it provides effective pain control but at a lesser risk of dependence.

Can you drink while taking Meloxicam?

Drinking alcohol is never advised while taking any pharmaceutical-grade medication, including Meloxicam. The manufacturing company strictly advises not to consume alcohol as long as they use this drug, and the warning is mentioned on its packaging. The combination carries serious health consequences and can severely affect the overall brain and body health, sometimes leading to irreversible damage.

Can I drink a small glass of wine after having Meloxicam?

Meloxicam and alcohol are dangerous combinations that can lead to various side effects. Even though a glass of wine is very unlikely to interact with the medication due to low quantity, the combination can sometimes lead to unpredictable side effects depending on one user to another. Hence, a small risk of damage always remains, no matter whether you are a regular drinker or simply wish to drink it as a one-off incident. The best way to keep yourself safe and secure is to completely cut off alcohol use as long as you use Mobic for pain relief.

When is it safe to drink alcohol after taking Meloxicam?

How long to wait to drink alcohol after taking Meloxicam is the most typical question people ask their doctors. Based on facts, Meloxicam has a half-life of approximately 20 hours, meaning the body takes nearly a day to get rid of half of the Meloxicam you have consumed. Additionally, experts believe that some of its trace elements may continue to linger up to 24 hours after you have stopped taking it. So it is better to stay away from any alcoholic beverage for at least 24-48 hours following the last dose for safety reasons.

Can I experience any complications by mixing Mobic and alcohol?

If someone has been taking Meloxicam for some time, combining it with alcohol can increase the risk of certain complications. To ensure that these complications are identified and dealt with before they seriously damage the body, it is essential to understand what to expect when you combine the two substances. Following are some common issues that may occur and warrant immediate medical help:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Nausea
  • Slurry speech
  • Excessive exhaustion
  • Chest pain
  • Pain extending to left arm and shoulder

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