Meloxicam is an Rx med that’s as plentiful as potato salad on the Fourth of July.
Stiff knees… arthritis pain… back problems? Meloxicam to the rescue!
While that name may not be as familiar to you as ibuprofen or aspirin, it’s also an NSAID, and it’s prescribed by docs over 22 million times a year.
It’s no secret that over-the-counter NSAID drugs are the go-to remedies for just about everything that ails us.
But when a doctor writes you a prescription, you might think that it means he has carefully weighed all the risks involved and believes it’s safe enough to take to relieve your pain.
Where meloxicam (which is sold under the brand name Mobic) is concerned, however, that would be taking a very big leap of faith!
Although we’ve told you about some of the many dangers involved in taking NSAIDs, the risks of this drug are in a special category of their own — especially where your blood pressure is concerned.
But for all of the side effects that meloxicam can cause in people, that’s merely small change next to what it can do to your pet.
A narrow margin of safety
Along with the black-box warnings for an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and “serious gastrointestinal adverse events” (such as bleeding, ulceration, and “perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal”), there’s the little matter of how Mobic can make your blood pressure soar.
While that’s also included in the warnings, it’s very easy to overlook. But doing so can be a big mistake.
Accounts of people landing in the ER with dangerously high blood pressure and sudden episodes of hypertension shortly after starting the drug are common.
A woman named Chris, for example, recounted on the People’s Pharmacy website how she had perfect blood pressure readings until, just days after starting up on meloxicam for arthritis, her usual 120/70 suddenly shot up to 160/95!
Other Mobic users describe extreme swelling of their ankles and problems with fluid retention and weight gain after being prescribed the drug.
And the worst part is, given all of the risks that come along with Mobic and other NSAIDS, they’re not even that good when it comes to taking away your pain. Dr. Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, reports that when carefully measured in a study, the true amount of pain relief provided was only around 13 percent, which he called a “very modest” result.
But people aren’t the only ones who are prescribed meloxicam. A veterinary version of the drug is sold under the name Metacam — and it also has a black-box warning, one that’s even scarier.
Metacam is used for arthritis and post-op pain in both dogs and cats. And while canine side effects can include anemia, lethargy, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, and death, it appears that our feline friends are even more sensitive to the drug.
It’s actually so dangerous for kitties that the package labeling warns not to give Fluffy a second dose… or you’ll be risking “acute renal failure and death.”
Seriously — a drug that can put a cat into kidney failure on the second dose! Why, they should never be given the first one!
Now, we would never want our pets to be in pain, but the risks with Metacam are just too much to take any chances. And as it says right on the label, studies have found it to have a “narrow margin of safety.”
The good news is that many of the non-toxic approaches to pain that work for us can also be valuable for our furry family members, such as acupuncture (many vets have trained to do both acupuncture and chiropractic), glucosamine supplements, homeopathic remedies, and omega-3 fatty acids.
For these non-drug approaches, it’s often best to find a holistic vet, one who can also work with you on adding anti-inflammatory foods to your pet’s diet.
And that’s an approach that could also help to significantly lower your blood pressure — which is something you definitely can’t say about taking a drug like meloxicam!
To Avoiding Needless Risks,