Substances | 4 min read

Does Meloxicam Cause Weight Gain? Here’s What You Need To Know

Medically Reviewed

Medically Reviewed By


On June 3, 2024

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On June 3, 2024

Does Meloxicam Cause Weight Gain?

What you will learn

  • Weight gain, including fluid retention (edema), can occur as a rare side effect of using Meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly prescribed for pain and inflammation.
  • While studies suggest that weight gain is uncommon, fluid retention affects a small percentage of individuals taking Meloxicam, ranging from 0.6% to 4.5% in clinical studies.
  • Fluid retention, if left untreated, can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular complications like congestive heart failure, underscoring the importance of recognizing and addressing this side effect promptly.
  • Several factors may contribute to weight changes while using Meloxicam, including appetite changes, activity level, metabolic changes, concurrent medications, individual variability, and lifestyle factors.
  • Managing weight and potential side effects while using Meloxicam involves adopting a balanced diet, practicing portion control, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, monitoring side effects, attending regular check-ups with healthcare providers, adhering to medication management guidelines, and considering alternative treatment options.
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Weight gain is a common concern as a side effect for many people taking prescription medications. While weight gain isn’t listed as a common side effect of Meloxicam, a pain-reducing drug, some individuals may nevertheless experience changes in weight while using this medication—either in general or as a result of fluid retention (known as edema).[1]

What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) commonly used to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.[2] It works by inhibiting the production of certain substances in the body that cause inflammation and pain. Meloxicam is only available via prescription (and not over-the-counter) in tablet form and is typically taken orally.

It is important to use meloxicam as prescribed by a healthcare professional and to be aware of potentially serious side effects, including gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, drowsiness, high blood pressure, and allergic reactions.[3] Long-term use of meloxicam may also increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, heart disease, anemia, blood clots, liver damage, kidney problems, or stroke.

Does Using Meloxicam Cause Me to Gain Weight?

Weight gain, including fluid retention, can be a potential side effect of using Meloxicam, although studies conducted thus far have shown it to be rare.[4] While some individuals may experience an increase in body weight while taking Meloxicam, it’s essential to note that not all users will have this response. Factors such as individual metabolism, underlying health conditions, and lifestyle habits can influence how the body responds to the medication.

If you experience significant weight changes while taking meloxicam, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider for medical advice to evaluate the cause and discuss potential solutions. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including balanced nutrition and regular exercise, can help manage weight using meloxicam or other medication.

What Does the Research Say About Meloxicam and Gaining Weight?

Meloxicam and Gaining Weight

Gaining or losing weight while taking meloxicam is rare, occurring in less than 2% of people.[5] However, fluid retention can be more common, affecting 0.6% to 4.5% of people in clinical studies.[6] If left unaddressed, edema may escalate to cardiovascular issues like congestive heart failure, particularly in susceptible individuals.

Recognizing fluid retention can involve noticing an unexplained increase in body weight. Any involuntary weight gain should promptly be brought to the attention of the prescribing physician or another healthcare provider as soon as possible.

What Factors Can Contribute to Weight Changes While Using Meloxicam?

Several factors can influence weight changes while using meloxicam:

  • Edema: As mentioned earlier, fluid retention can be a side effect of meloxicam, affecting a small percentage of users. This can lead to temporary weight gain due to increased water retention.
  • Appetite changes: Some individuals may experience alterations in appetite while taking meloxicam. This can result in increased or decreased food intake, subsequently affecting weight.
  • Activity level: Meloxicam’s pain relief may enable individuals to engage in physical activities they previously could not. Increased activity levels can lead to weight loss if energy expenditure exceeds caloric intake.
  • Metabolic changes: Meloxicam can affect metabolism in some individuals, although this mechanism is not fully understood. Changes in metabolism can influence weight gain or loss, liver problems, and indigestion.
  • Other prescribed medications: Concurrent use of other medications alongside meloxicam may contribute to weight changes. Some medications can cause weight gain or loss as a side effect or interact with meloxicam in a way that affects weight.
  • Individual variability: Each person’s body responds differently to medications. Genetics, underlying health conditions, and lifestyle habits can all affect how meloxicam affects weight.
  • Diet and lifestyle: Dietary habits and lifestyle choices, such as diet quality, portion sizes, and level of physical activity, can significantly impact weight changes while using meloxicam.

Individuals should discuss any concerns about weight changes with their healthcare provider, who can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on individual circumstances.

How Can I Manage My Weight and Any Potential Side Effects Using Meloxicam?

Like many medications, Meloxicam can have potential adverse effects:

  • Healthy diet: Focus on a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-fat foods.
  • Portion control: To avoid overeating, be mindful of portion sizes. Use smaller plates, eat slowly, and listen to your body’s hunger cues.
  • Regular exercise: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Choose exercises that you enjoy and can maintain long-term. Consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger, so staying hydrated can help control unnecessary snacking.
  • Monitor for other side effects: Weight gain is not typically associated with Meloxicam, so it may not be necessary to monitor weight changes solely due to Meloxicam use unless other symptoms or risk factors are present. If you notice any significant changes, consult with your healthcare provider.
  • Regular check-ups with your providers: Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your overall health and discuss any concerns or side effects you may be experiencing.
  • Medication management: Take Meloxicam exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Avoid increasing or decreasing your dose without consulting them first. If you experience any side effects or concerns, discuss them with your healthcare provider. They can also help you to monitor any potential drug-drug interactions.
  • Consider alternative treatments if necessary: Depending on your condition and health status, alternative treatment options may be available. Discuss with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about the side effects of Meloxicam or if you’re considering other options.

Remember, managing your weight and potential side effects while using Meloxicam is a holistic process that involves lifestyle modifications, medication management, and regular communication with your healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions About Meloxicam and Weight Gain

How quickly can weight gain occur after starting Meloxicam?

Weight gain after starting Meloxicam can vary from person to person. While some individuals may notice changes relatively quickly within a few weeks of starting the medication, others may not experience any significant weight changes at all. Monitoring your weight regularly and discussing any concerns with your healthcare provider is essential.

What should I do if I notice weight gain while taking Meloxicam?

If you notice weight gain while taking Meloxicam, it’s crucial to discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider. They can evaluate whether the weight gain is related to the medication or other factors and guide potential adjustments to your treatment plan. Additionally, they may recommend lifestyle modifications, such as dietary changes or increased physical activity, to help manage your weight.

Are there any dietary restrictions or recommendations while taking Meloxicam?

While there are no specific dietary restrictions while taking Meloxicam, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet to support overall health and well-being. Focus on consuming various nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.

Limiting processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-fat foods can improve weight management and overall health. Meloxicam can also cause stomach pain in some individuals, making it crucial to work in tandem with your provider for the best pain solution.

Is weight gain reversible once I stop taking Meloxicam?

If weight gain is attributed to Meloxicam use, it may be reversible once you stop taking the medication. However, individual responses can vary, and it’s essential to discuss any concerns about weight gain with your healthcare provider for medical attention before discontinuing Meloxicam or making any changes to your treatment plan.

Are there any factors that increase the risk of weight gain with Meloxicam?

Several factors may increase the risk of weight gain while taking NSAIDs such as Meloxicam, including pre-existing metabolic conditions, lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity levels, and genetic predispositions.

Certain medications or medical conditions may also interact with Meloxicam, potentially affecting weight. It’s essential to discuss any risk factors with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that minimizes the risk of weight gain and to let them know if you experience any adverse effects.

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Amanda Stevens


Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. Read more

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[1] Meloxicam (Oral Route) Description and Brand Names – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). on April 25, 2024

[2] Meloxicam: MedlinePlus Drug Information. (n.d.). on April 25, 2024

[3] Meloxicam (Oral Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). on April 25, 2024

[4] Meloxicam oral tablet side effects: How to manage. (2022, October 19). on April 25, 2024

[5] Enforcement Reports. (n.d.).,021530s014s015lbl.pdf on April 25, 2024

[6] PubChem. (n.d.). Meloxicam. on April 25, 2024