B Jones asked
I started talking Boswellia for joint inflammation and pain due to aging issues. My doctor has me on meloxicam for pain and a torn shoulder tendon. It also helps with other inflammation issues I have in my knees. Can I take Boswellia with meloxicam until my Boswellia "kicks in".... about 2 to 4 weeks?
At a glance
- Boswellia may help treat inflammatory conditions by preventing the formation of inflammatory leukotrienes. This mechanism of action is different from meloxicam.
- There are no published drug interactions between Boswellia and meloxicam, however, drug interactions with Boswellia have not been extensively studied.
Hello and thanks for reaching out to us.
Unfortunately, like most nutraceutical/botanical medications, Boswellia hasn’t been as extensively studied as FDA-approved drugs so we don't have a complete idea on how it works, just how effective it is, and whether or not there are serious drug interactions to be concerned of.
Nevertheless, Boswellia is actually one of the better studied natural supplements all things considered. Studies show that boswellia appears to be a moderately effective treatment for certain inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis and ulcerative colitis. It is thought to mainly work by preventing inflammatory substances called leukotrienes from being formed in your body, which eventually reduces inflammation, leading to relief from associated pain.
Now, this mechanism of action is different from meloxicam, which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). NSAIDs inhibit a group of enzymes called cyclooxygenases.
Due to the fact that these work on different inflammatory systems, taking both together isn’t a duplicate drug therapy, so no concern there.
I did an extensive search and was unable to find many drug interactions for Boswellia. There is some evidence that it seems to interact with several drugs to prevent organ rejection since it may have some mild immunosuppressant effects but I was unable to find much else. This is typical with most herbals. Since they don’t have to go through a formal FDA approval process, we usually never know all of the potential drug interactions. That being said, it doesn’t look like there is a drug interaction with meloxicam, but I cannot say that with 100% certainty simply due to the lack of data available on the matter.
I hope this helps! Feel free to write us again in the future.
- Natural Medicines Interaction Checker, TRC Natural Medicines (subscription required)
- Benefits of antioxidant supplements for knee osteoarthritis: rationale and reality, Nutrition Journal
- A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Clinical Study Evaluates the Early Efficacy of Aflapin in Subjects with Osteoarthritis of Knee, International Journal of Medical Sciences