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).
Following subcutaneous administration, meloxicam is completely bioavailable and maximal mean plasma concentrations of 0.73 mg/ml in dogs and 1.1 µg/ml in cats were reached approximately 2.5 hours and 1.5 hours post administration, respectively.
There is a linear relationship between the dose administered and plasma concentration observed in the therapeutic dose range in dogs and cats. More than 97 % of meloxicam is bound to plasma proteins. The volume of distribution is 0.3 l/kg in dogs and 0.09 l/kg in cats.
In dogs, 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.
In cats, meloxicam is predominantly found in plasma and is also a major biliary excretion product whereas urine contains only traces of the parent compound. Five major metabolites were detected all having been shown to be pharmacologically inactive. Meloxicam is metabolised to an alcohol, an acid derivative and to several polar metabolites. As for other species investigated, the main pathway of meloxicam biotransformation in cat is oxidation.
In dogs, 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.
In cats, meloxicam is eliminated with a half-life of 24 hours. The detection of metabolites from the parent compound in urine and faeces, but not in plasma is indicative for their rapid excretion. 21 % of the recovered dose is eliminated in urine (2 % as unchanged meloxicam, 19 % as metabolites) and 79 % in the faeces (49 % as unchanged meloxicam, 30 % as metabolites).