Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) of the oxicam class which acts by inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis, thereby exerting anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-exudative and antipyretic effects. It reduces leukocyte infiltration into the inflamed tissue. To a minor extent it also inhibits collagen-induced thrombocyte aggregation. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that meloxicam inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) to a greater extent than cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1).
Meloxicam is completely absorbed following oral administration and maximal plasma concentrations are obtained after approximately 4.5 hours. When the product is used according to the recommended dosage regime, steady state concentrations of meloxicam in plasma are reached on the second day of treatment.
There is a linear relationship between the dose administered and plasma concentration observed in the therapeutic dose range. Approximately 97% of meloxicam is bound to plasma proteins. The volume of distribution is 0.3 l/kg.
Meloxicam is predominantly found in plasma and is also a major biliary excretion product whereas urine contains only traces of the parent compound. Meloxicam is metabolised to an alcohol, an acid derivative and to several polar metabolites. All major metabolites have been shown to be pharmacologically inactive.
Meloxicam is eliminated with a half-life of 24 hours. Approximately 75% of the administered dose is eliminated via faeces and the remainder via urine.