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Is It Safe to Take Meloxicam during Pregnancy or Breastfeeding?

By Medically reviewed by Duyen Le, MD.

What is meloxicam?

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It reduces hormones causing body pain or inflammation. Pain or inflammation result from adult rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children over 2 years old can be treated with meloxicam.

The US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) put meloxicam into class C medication for the first 29 weeks of pregnancy. After that, they classify it to class D.

Class C drugs have not been tested on human, however, when studied on animals, they show that there may be side effects. Nevertheless, these side effects may be unharmful to human. Medication from class D are drugs for which harm to the fetus due to the mother’s consumption of the drug during pregnancy has been proved.

For women planning to have a baby, there is proof that meloxicam together with other NSAIDs leads to delayed ovulation.

Pregnancy and meloxicam

In human, there is no controlled information. NSAIDs may negatively affect female fertility. For those who intend to get pregnant or have problems with infertility, NSAID should be avoided.

Meloxicam may be prescribed for pregnant women if the doctors believe the health benefits for the mother surpass the risk to the fetus. Up to now, there have been no studies on human about the effects of meloxicam during pregnancy, thus, we can not know if it is safe. On the other hand, studies on animal have shown that meloxicam is relatively safe for the first 28 weeks of the pregnancy. However, from week 29th on, it’s important to stop the medicine. The side effects are prolonged labor or overdue pregnancy. Plus, the medicine goes through the placenta and interferes with the fetus’s natural development. Pulmonary hypertension in the newborn is a common condition. Besides, meloxicam (and other NSAIDs) brings about fetal ductus arteriosus, oligohydramnios, fetal renal impairment, cardiopulmonary toxicity platelet dysfunction, and gastrointestinal or intracranial bleeding.

Breastfeeding and meloxicam

For a breastfeeding mother, meloxicam can be used, if there are more health benefits than health risks. For example, if the mother is suffering from extreme pain and craving for a way out.

If you are nursing and have no way but to take meloxicam, there are still ways to limit the risks and protect your child from the side effects of that medicine. Discuss with your doctor about the lowest but still effective dose. Moreover, it is urgent that you have a plan of the exact time to take meloxicam. Make sure there is the longest period of time possible between your dose and your child’s meal. You should take the medicine after feeding your baby or when he is sleeping. By this, your can be sure that the medication somehow wears off before your child’s next meal.

If you have accidentally taken meloxicam before you found out that you’re pregnant, seek medical help right away.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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