Is meloxicam an opioid?

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Medically reviewed by Neil Chatterjee, MD

No. Meloxicam is not an opioid.  Meloxicam (brand name Mobic) is a Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug, or NSAID. This places meloxicam under the same category of medications such as ibuprofen (brand name Advil) and naproxen (brand name Aleve). While it functions very similarly to Advil and Aleve, meloxicam is not available without a prescription.

Meloxicam is an NSAID, but more specifically it is a COX-2 inhibitor, an enzyme involved in the inflammatory process. This enzyme mediates the inflammatory process, while COX-1 has a role in prostaglandin synthesis in the stomach and kidneys. 

Unlike over-the-counter NSAIDs, meloxicam is a longer-acting form dosed once daily. Your doctor may choose meloxicam due to the simple dosing instructions compared to the multiple tablets required of over-the-counter NSAIDs. Your doctor may also prescribe meloxicam if a slightly stronger strength is needed. Mobic is the brand name most commonly used in the United States.

This post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address any individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.

If you think you may be experiencing overdose or have any other medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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