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Meloxicam Addiction and Abuse: Is It Addictive?

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Meloxicam Addiction Treatment Chattanooga, TN
Picture of Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

Table of Contents

Navigating pain management effectively is crucial, especially given the current concerns surrounding opioid use. Both patients and healthcare providers are increasingly aware of the risks associated with opioids, notably their addictive nature and the stigma often linked to their use. This awareness is driving a shift towards alternative pain management solutions.

Meloxicam has become a favored option for those seeking effective pain relief without the risks associated with opioids. However, some may still have reservations about its use, particularly concerning its potential for addiction. This article aims to explore meloxicam as an alternative to opioid pain medications, addressing common concerns and answering questions about its addictive properties, helping individuals make well-informed decisions regarding their pain management options.

What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam, also known by its brand name Mobic, is primarily prescribed to alleviate arthritis-related symptoms such as pain and inflammation. It offers a non-opioid alternative, potentially minimizing the risk of developing an addiction associated with opioid pain relievers like hydrocodone or oxycodone.

First developed by Boehringer Ingelheim and patented in 1977, meloxicam was not approved for medical use until 2000. Recognized as a safer choice than opioids, meloxicam is available in various oral forms including tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, and capsules, and requires a prescription.

While meloxicam tablets are available in both generic and brand-name forms, the orally disintegrating tablets are only available as a branded medication. Generic versions of Mobic are generally more cost-effective, making this medication accessible for those seeking relief from arthritis symptoms.

How Does Meloxicam Work?

Meloxicam functions by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes 1 and 2, reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormones that trigger inflammation and pain. This action helps relieve discomfort associated with conditions such as arthritis.

Due to its effectiveness, meloxicam is typically prescribed in lower daily doses of 5 to 7.5 mg. Although it doesn’t carry the same addiction risks as opioids, its potent effects mean that misuse can lead to serious health complications, highlighting the importance of adhering to the prescribed dosage.

Is Meloxicam Addictive?

While meloxicam is not classified as addictive, it can be misused, potentially leading to psychological dependence. Misuse can result in severe side effects and health complications similar to those associated with opioid misuse, including nausea, stomach ulcers, cardiovascular problems, abdominal pain, kidney damage, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Can You Get Addicted to Meloxicam?

Meloxicam does not lead to physical addiction, but psychological dependence is possible, particularly due to its role as a prescription pain reliever. Misunderstandings about its effects might lead some to misuse meloxicam in a manner similar to opioids.

Misusing meloxicam does not result in addiction but can cause significant health issues such as stomach ulcers, abdominal pain, nausea, cardiovascular problems, kidney damage, and gastrointestinal bleeding. It is crucial to use meloxicam responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare provider to prevent these adverse effects.

Recognizing Signs of Meloxicam Misuse

At Iris Wellness Group in Chattanooga, TN, we understand that while meloxicam does not inherently cause physical dependence, there are clear signs of misuse that may necessitate intervention. Recognizing these signs is crucial for preventing the potential escalation of misuse into more significant life challenges. Here are common indicators of meloxicam misuse:

  • Repeated early prescription refills: Attempting to obtain refills more frequently than the prescribed schedule.
  • Developing tolerance: Needing increasingly higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief.
  • Doctor shopping: Seeking prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers to obtain more of the medication.
  • Taking medication from others: Using meloxicam prescribed to someone else.

Misuse of meloxicam can impact finances, professional responsibilities, and personal relationships, often spiraling without the euphoria associated with other drugs. When usage continues despite adverse effects, it’s crucial to seek professional help to address these issues safely and effectively.

Additional Names for Meloxicam

Meloxicam is known by several names across different regions and uses. In the U.S., it’s marketed as Mobic and Vivlodex, while in Canada, it’s sold under the brand name Mobicox. For veterinary purposes, it appears as Metacam, Meloxidyl, Loxicom, and Orocam. The absence of familiar street names for meloxicam reflects its limited misuse compared to more commonly abused drugs.

Side Effects of Meloxicam

Meloxicam, like any medication, carries the risk of side effects, which vary by individual. Common side effects include:

  • Skin rashes and hives
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching and fever
  • Blurred vision and dizziness
  • High blood pressure and drowsiness
  • Stomach upset and diarrhea
  • Fluid retention and shortness of breath
  • Persistent headaches

It’s important to discuss any adverse reactions with a healthcare provider, as these can signify serious health issues that require immediate attention.

Meloxicam Withdrawal Process

Discontinuing meloxicam is generally straightforward and doesn’t usually require a gradual reduction in dosage. However, stopping suddenly may reintroduce symptoms that meloxicam was managing, such as pain or inflammation, which could cause discomfort or disrupt daily activities. It’s essential to be well-informed about the effects of stopping meloxicam and to prepare for the possibility of symptom resurgence. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to ensure a safe and comfortable cessation process.

Risks of Overdosing on Meloxicam

Although meloxicam is safe for many when used as directed, exceeding the prescribed dosage increases the risk of overdose. The standard therapeutic dosage typically begins at 7.5 mg daily and may go up to 15 mg daily depending on factors such as the patient’s medical condition, age, and concurrent health issues. Symptoms of an overdose can be severe and may include profound drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, significant stomach pain, respiratory difficulties, and in extreme cases, seizures or coma. Immediate medical intervention is imperative in the event of a suspected overdose to prevent critical outcomes.

Is there Treatment for Meloxicam Abuse?

Meloxicam is not inherently addictive, but its misuse suggests possible underlying mental health or substance use disorders. Individuals who misuse meloxicam might mistakenly seek the euphoric effects typically associated with opioids, or they may develop a psychological reliance on the medication as a pain management tool, despite its non-euphoric properties. Misuse can lead to severe adverse health effects, underscoring the importance of proper usage under medical supervision.

At Iris Wellness Group we address meloxicam abuse in Chattanooga, TN through a comprehensive treatment approach that incorporates physical and psychological strategies. Our programs include behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy sessions, peer support networks, and life skills training. Our goal is to identify the root causes of misuse and equip individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to prevent future issues and support overall well-being.

Meloxicam Addiction Treatment in Chattanooga, TN

Recognizing the potential for meloxicam misuse is the first step toward preventing serious health complications. Although meloxicam is not considered addictive, inappropriate use can have significant consequences. Iris Wellness Group recognizes the challenges associated with any form of medication misuse. We offer extensive support and tailored care to address the complexities of dependency on substances like meloxicam.

If you or someone you know is dealing with issues related to meloxicam abuse or any other dependency, Iris Wellness Group is here to help. Our experienced team is committed to supporting your journey to recovery, ensuring a future of health, happiness, and well-being. For assistance with meloxicam addiction or any related concerns, please contact us at 423-541-0656 or through our online contact form. We’re here to provide the support you need to navigate the challenges and move towards a healthier, more fulfilled life.

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