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Meloxicam and Alcohol Interaction: Can You Drink Alcohol with Meloxicam?

Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 02/06/2023

Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs like Meloxicam are typically used to treat arthritis, tenderness, swelling, and osteoarthritis. The drug works by inhibiting the enzymes that the body creates that can lead to inflammation. Because Meloxicam is a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), it does possess the potential to increase the risk of stroke, and heart attack, in people who have been prescribed the drug and it over an extended period. Additionally, Meloxicam can damage the gut, stomach, and digestive system, which can lead to bleeding and/or ulcer. These complications can prove fatal if left untreated. 

Because alcohol consumption causes inflammation, drinking alcohol can worsen the adverse side effects of Meloxicam. It also causes some of the symptoms of arthritis, including but not reserved to attacks of gout, and arthritic pain flare-ups.  

What Are the Effects of Mixing Alcohol and Meloxicam? 

There are several negative effects of mixing alcohol and Meloxicam which vary from inconvenient to even life threatening. First and foremost, due to the fact that Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, it has the potential to permanently damage the gut of the individual taking the medicine, as well as cause less serious side effects, such as gas, bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea.

These digestive ailments can also be caused by consuming too much alcohol, or drinking alcohol daily, which is why mixing Meloxicam with alcohol can bring about, or even greatly increase, the effects of either substance on its own. Additionally, because Meloxicam is meant to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and arthritis-related ailments, the inflammatory nature of alcohol directly counteracts the medicinal benefits of Meloxicam. 

Gout, gastritis, internal bleeding, and heart attack are all serious effects of mixing alcohol and Meloxicam, which is why doctors recommend that patients who are taking Meloxicam completely abstain from drinking alcohol during the process of taking the medicine. The most life-threatening complications from mixing the two substances are outlined below.

1. Bleeding

While drinking alcohol alone over an extended period is inflammatory enough to bring about serious inflammation, and even internal bleeding in the liver and upper GI tract, combining it with Meloxicam can be even more dangerous. The bleeding damage has the potential to be extremely serious, leading to ulcers, and even GI tract bleeding in the intestines and stomach that may be irreversible. 

2. Gastritis

When a person consumes alcohol, it damages the naturally occurring healthy bacteria in the gut biome. Similarly, Meloxicam takes a toll on the gut biome as well. When combined, the outcome can be extremely dangerous, as stomach ulcers, tears, and infection, all of which are forms of gastritis, can possibly occur. Also, symptoms of gastritis are known to make it difficult for the body to absorb basic nutrients, especially vitamin b12, an essential vitamin, and one that when depleted brings about such symptoms as difficulty walking, weak muscles, weight loss, and fatigue. 

3. Gout 

A common, extreme form of arthritis, gout occurs as sudden pain attacks, swelling, redness, and tenderness in one or more joints. Alcohol consumption, especially over a long period, can cause flare-ups of joint pain, and gout, even for individuals without a history of arthritis or arthritis-related diseases. For those who do have arthritis or arthritis-related diseases, and are taking Meloxicam, any potential benefit that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug may provide can be canceled out by the inflammatory, gout-causing nature of alcohol. It has also been recorded that Meloxicam and alcohol together can bring about more severe forms of gout than what might be caused by arthritis or gout caused by alcohol consumption. 

4. Heart attack

Alcohol can create issues for normal heart functioning without being mixed with prescription drugs and medicine like Meloxicam. Such heart complications caused by alcohol are most common with regular binge drinkers or people who have developed an alcohol dependency and drink regularly. Due to the fact that taking Meloxicam can already put the heart at risk of heart attack, as well as increased risk of stroke, mixing Meloxicam with alcohol can severely increase the chances of either malady, and even cause heart failure. There are some warning signs that the heart may be reaching such a point, and these include shortness of breath, pains in the chest region, a pain that develops in the left arm or left side of the body, and overall physical or mental weakness.

Does Meloxicam Affect the Taste of Alcohol? 

Meloxicam has a less frequent than normal side effect of altering taste in people who take it regularly. This being the case, Meloxicam can affect the taste of alcohol as well. 

Can the Mixture of Alcohol and Meloxicam Lead to Death? 

Meloxicam and Alcohol, when consumed together, do have the potential to be lethal. The combination can be fatal because stroke, heart attack, and even heart failure are possible when taking Meloxicam, and possible for an individual binge drinking or with a history of alcohol dependency. Mixing the two only increases the likelihood of heart failure, heart attack, and stroke, which can all be fatal.

Who Should Not Take Alcohol and Meloxicam? 

Meloxicam is prescribed to people suffering from medium to severe arthritis, and/or arthritic diseases. There are a variety of individuals who have arthritis and similar ailments, not all of which are predisposed to the more life-threatening side effects that come from both the medication, and drinking alcohol. While doctors recommend that any patient taking Meloxicam abstain from any alcohol consumption throughout the duration the medicine is prescribed, some doctors do allow for alcohol consumption at least 24 hours after a dose of Meloxicam. Usually, the people who may be allowed to drink alcohol are those who do not have an addiction to alcohol, as those who have developed a long-standing dependency on alcohol may have compromised brain, liver, and intestines, all of which can suffer severe injury when alcohol is combined with Meloxicam.

Mixing Meloxicam can prove fatal, but even if someone waits 24 hours, if they have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke, or if they are already experiencing severe inflammation of their gi tract, digestive system, or extremities due to gout or arthritis, it is crucial that a person does not take any alcohol and Meloxicam. 

Can I Take Meloxicam With Alcohol When Pregnant? 

It is strongly advised not to consume any alcohol with Meloxicam when pregnant. Not only can the alcohol do damage to the development of the child as well as the health of the patient, but the combination of the two may also even cause death for both the unborn, and the mother. 

Are All Types of Alcohol Harmful With Meloxicam?

Any type of alcohol can be harmful with Meloxicam, as one serving of any alcohol, be it liquor, wine, cider, or beer, has an equal impact on the body. It is not the type of alcohol that can be harmful, but rather the amount consumed and the regularity that drinking alcohol takes place. 

How Much Meloxicam Can Be Dangerous to Take With Alcohol?

Due to the fact that Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug taken daily, the more days it is ingested, the more it has the potential to build up in the bloodstream, and also to wear down the gi tract, liver, and other organs. For that reason, while any amount of Meloxicam can be dangerous to take with alcohol, continued use of both substances is the most life-threatening combination. Additionally, taking more than the prescribed dose of any medication, including Meloxicam, can prove harmful, even fatal, especially when mixed with alcohol. 

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Meloxicam Will Work? 

Alcohol does affect how well Meloxicam will work because the anti-inflammatory quality of the drug, which is why it is prescribed by doctors, can be directly counteracted by the inflammatory nature of alcohol. Not only is the mixture of the two substances dangerous to the body, but the combination can also hamper Meloxicam’s ability to reduce the pain and suffering caused by arthritis, potentially rendering the use of the drug pointless. 

How Long After Taking Meloxicam Can You Drink Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol is considered acceptable by most doctors at least 24 hours after the final dose of Meloxicam is administered. This usually gives enough time for the drug to cease being active in the system. However, if a person with a history of Meloxicam uses binge drinks, then the results can still prove fatal, especially if their organs have experienced some degradation from the side effects of the drug’s continued use over a long period. 

What Are Other Drugs that Are Dangerous to Use With Alcohol?

Other drugs are extremely dangerous to use with alcohol, including Depressants, Stimulants, Opiates, and even Antibiotics. While the former four varieties of drug can interact with alcohol causing abrupt health complications like asphyxiation, unconsciousness, heart attack, stroke, and brain damage, when mixed with Antibiotics, alcohol can destroy the stomach lining and damage the liver to the point of being irreversible. 

Below we list the drugs that are dangerous to take with alcohol.