Taking Meloxicam With Kidney Problems

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses using Mobic (meloxicam) in a patient with a history of kidney failure.

Jan 08, 2018

MB1 asked

While taking meloxicam for osteoarthritis, I also took Ibuprofen for several days resulting in kidney failure and a hospital stay. I'm now completely recovered. Is it safe to resume taking Meloxicam as long as I don't take any other NSAIDS?


Mobic (meloxicam), an NSAID, can be used in patients with mild to moderate renal (i.e. kidney) impairment as well in those with prior renal failure, but caution and monitoring is advised. As everyone's situation is different, it is recommended to speak with your doctor regarding continued use. There may be a safer, more effective alternative available to you.

Although you have recovered from your prior kidney failure, there may be some lasting damage and you may be more susceptible to the effects NSAIDs have on the kidney. NSAIDs, such as meloxicam, may hasten the progression of renal dysfunction in those with pre-existing renal disease as these drugs inhibit renal prostaglandins, potentially resulting in significant decreases in renal blood flow.

Per the prescribing information of meloxicam, the only true contraindication of meloxicam use in regard to kidney function is if there is severe impairment (creatinine clearance under 20 ml/minute). It's use is not recommended in severe renal failure, but can be used safely in other patients although close monitoring of renal function is advised. 

In fact, dosage adjustments from the normally recommended doses are not needed if kidney function is only mildly impaired. If your kidney function has returned to normal and you still require therapy with meloxicam, you most likely can use the medication safely but make sure your doctor is aware so you can be monitored appropriately.

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