Meloxicam, also known as Mobic, is classified as an NSAID, a class of drugs commonly used to treat mild-to-moderate inflammation, reduce pain and fever, and mitigate the effects of bone problems such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, concomitant Meloxicam-alcohol use is a serious risk. It can lead to significant health issues, which can cause mild to severe adverse medical effects ranging from nausea to gastrointestinal problems like stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and even death.
Let’s take a closer look at the risk involved in mixing Meloxicam and alcohol and how much alcohol can be safely consumed with the medication. Find out how soon after treatment with the medication you can drink alcohol and how to seek help if you or someone you know is battling Meloxicam and alcohol abuse.
Can a Patient Drink Alcohol While Taking Meloxicam?
Meloxicam is a prescription medication that has a clear and precise list of medical instructions that patients should follow when using the drug for the treatment of their health conditions. The standard Meloxicam box warning states that alcoholic beverages are prohibited when on treatment with this drug. Recreational use also carries significant risks to an individual’s health. Although the drug is not strong enough to create a “high” or euphoric feeling in an individual, and therefore cannot lead to physical addiction, some patients try to combine the UL 15 pill with strong drinks or other drugs. They may believe that this mix will double its pain-relieving effects.
Side Effects of Meloxicam and Alcohol Consumption
As previously stated, Mobic belongs to the class of drugs known as NSAIDs. These drugs work by preventing the production of a particular group of molecules known as prostaglandins, which contribute to pain and inflammation.
While prostaglandins are an important part of the pain pathway, they also serve other key purposes within the body, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Prostaglandins inhibit the production of excess amounts of gastric acid, protect the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract by stimulating mucus and bicarbonate secretion, increase blood flow to the stomach mucosal lining, and stimulate smooth muscle contraction.
Therefore, NSAIDs are known to have several significant side effects on the gastrointestinal system since these drugs block these protective functions. In addition, it is believed that consuming alcoholic beverages in large quantities can irritate the mucosal lining of the stomach. It may predispose one to or aggravate many of the adverse gastrointestinal symptoms of NSAID use. Therefore the concomitant use of both Meloxicam and alcohol is not advisable. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a doctor immediately.
Some Common Meloxicam Interactions With Alcohol Include:
- Intestinal or stomach bleeding
- Stomach pain
- Peptic ulcers
- Ruptured peptic ulcers
Long-term side effects of Meloxicam and alcohol also include non-digestive symptoms such as:
- Kidney problems: NSAIDs can cause kidney damage in two ways: reducing blood flow to the kidneys or directly causing inflammation of the renal tissues. Acute and chronic heavy alcoholic beverages use also leads to kidney damage by disrupting the hormonal regulation of kidney function and causing direct damage to the kidneys.
- Heart attack or Stroke: Research has shown that NSAIDs like Meloxicam may lead to heart attacks, strokes, and even heart failure, especially in individuals with previously impaired cardiac activity. In that same vein, heavy alcohol consumption over a long time and binge drinking have been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
- Liver problems: A study done in 2010 showed that 10% of drug-induced liver toxicity was due to NSAIDs. Chronic alcohol addiction is another common cause of chronic liver damage and may predispose the liver to further damage caused by Meloxicam interactions with alcohol.
Alcohol and Arthritis
Mobic is widely prescribed for patients with arthritis. When alcoholic beverages interact with arthritis and osteoarthritis medication like Mobic, it affects the integrity of the drug and its efficacy, especially in elderly patients. For patients with gouty arthritis, consuming alcoholic beverages is also ill-advised due to its high purine levels, leading to flare-ups. Alcoholic drinks were also implicated in osteoarthritis, as chronic alcoholism puts the body in a pro-inflammatory state and encourages the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or free radicals.
Not only was chronic alcohol addiction found to be dangerous, but also binge drinking, the practice of consuming large amounts of alcoholic beverages within a relatively short period.
Drinks are also prohibited by the labels of the majority of medical Mobic alternatives. Whenever a patient takes Mobic or Celebrex, as a substitution, the drug’s effectiveness is diminished when taken with a strong drink.
Is a Glass of Wine Okay with Mobic?
Drinking wine is also not advised when an individual is on this medication. Although taking Meloxicam with alcohol should be avoided, drinking a glass of wine is unlikely to cause any severe damage to a person’s health.
If patients desire to consume alcoholic beverages while on medication, they must discuss the recommended limits with a physician. The limits for a healthy person are measured within two units daily and fourteen units per week for women, and a maximum of three units daily and twenty-one units per week for men.
The usual information from doctors is that wine intake is limited if patients can’t completely abstain. It is also recommended to take alcoholic beverages with food to reduce its effects. A typical drink should be a small glass of wine, a half-pint of beer, or one measure of spirits. If an individual finds it hard to stick to these limits, it is best to speak to a physician. Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages while on Mobic medication will cause severe adverse reactions mentioned above. If the individual had noticed any of them, contact a doctor immediately.
How Long to Wait to Drink Alcohol After Taking Meloxicam?
Meloxicam has an elimination half-life of about 20 hours. Therefore, if a patient has been on Mobic for a while, or Meloxicam is prescribed for long-term use, then they must avoid liquors at least 24 hours after the last dose of Meloxicam. Mobic is known to last for up to 24 hours after intake. That is much longer in comparison with ibuprofen effects, for example. Ingesting liquors after that duration can be permissible as a patient has to wait until the medication is cleared from the stomach. Even under such conditions, the intake must be limited to one or two drinks.
Dealing With Meloxicam and Alcohol Abuse
From the above, Mobic and alcohol use is not advisable due to the serious Meloxicam-alcohol interactions and because the drug can remain within the body for several days due to its long half-life. Therefore, ridding yourself of the drug may take up to 5 days. Though it is relatively safe to take moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages 24 hours after your last dose of the medication, individuals who are at risk of developing more severe side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding, heart conditions, liver damage, and kidney damage should avoid the consuming Mobic and alcohol until the medication is completely excreted from the body.
Seek help from a doctor if you notice any of the signs of adverse Mobic side effects.
For more information about Meloxicam, patients should contact a health professional. Before taking it with alcohol and even before starting the treatment, users should learn everything about Meloxicam interactions, side effects, and warnings. This way, they can remain safe.
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Published on: May 14th, 2019
Updated on: August 3rd, 2021
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.