Tylenol and meloxicam: what you need to know

Meloxicam (Mobic) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used alone or with other medicines to treat mild to moderate pain and inflammation in arthritis. Tylenol (acetaminophen), which is also used to treat pain associated with arthritis, is sometimes added to a regimen for pain management that cannot be relieved by NSAIDs alone. These two drugs are generally safe to use together.

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How meloxicam and tylenol are different

Although meloxicam and Tylenol are both used to treat pain, they differ in several ways. One is the dosage. Meloxicam is a prescription drug that is taken once a day, while Tylenol can be purchased over the counter (OTC) and has varying dosage recommendations depending on the strength of the product.

They also belong to different classes of drugs and work differently. NSAIDs relieve pain by blocking an enzyme called cyclooxygenase, or COX, which helps in the production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins play a role in the inflammatory response in the body, so when this production is blocked, the inflammation and discomfort caused by the inflammatory response is relieved.

Tylenol is the brand name for acetaminophen and belongs to a class of medications called pain relievers. While there is still debate about how Tylenol works in the body, it is suggested that it works by also blocking the formation of the COX enzyme in the central nervous system. The mechanism of action is different between NSAIDs and acetaminophen because of where they block the enzyme.

In terms of their effectiveness, meloxicam and Tylenol work equally well for pain. However, Tylenol cannot reduce inflammation in the body like meloxicam can.

Is it safe to take meloxicam with tylenol?

It is safe to take meloxicam with Tylenol because there is no known drug interaction between the two drugs. However, it is important to remember to follow the recommended daily dosage of both drugs. If you exceed the dosage of either, dangerous side effects can occur.

Some side effects that can occur if you take too much Tylenol include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweat
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Flu-like symptoms

When it comes to meloxicam, taking too much can also have adverse health effects. They understand:

  • Lack of energy
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Vomiting that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Too much of either drug can cause liver toxicity. In the case of Tylenol, the liver is supposed to break the drug down into separate parts. The parts that are used for pain relief are kept in the body, while the parts that are not needed, such as the toxic by-product made by the metabolism of Tylenol, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine, are excreted. in urine. If too much Tylenol is taken, this toxic byproduct made in the liver builds up because the liver cannot get rid of it quickly enough, resulting in liver damage.

Regarding meloxicam, the cause of liver toxicity is not clear, but it can still occur in very rare cases.

NSAID warnings

If taken for pain relief, NSAIDs like meloxicam are generally intended for short-term use, such as for up to 10 consecutive days. There are times when your doctor may prescribe an NSAID for a longer period of time, but these are special circumstances and your doctor will tell you.

Taking NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The risk is higher when the drug is taken in higher doses and over a long period of time, but it may also increase in the first few weeks after taking the drug. Although the risks of these side effects are higher in people with pre-existing heart problems, they can occur even in those without a history of heart disease.

NSAIDs have also been shown to increase the risk of side effects on the stomach and intestines, such as ulcers or gastric bleeding. The risk of developing these side effects is higher in the elderly, people with a history of stomach ulcers, people who take blood thinners, those who drink alcohol daily, and those who take more than one prescription or over-the-counter NSAIDs at the same time.

When taking NSAIDs, only one type should be taken at a time. Taking two types of NSAIDs at the same time may increase the risk of unwanted side effects such as liver toxicity and kidney failure.

Serious side effects

In some cases, serious side effects can occur when taking meloxicam. The following symptoms should be treated immediately by your doctor:

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as black stools, bloody or cloudy urine, severe abdominal pain, vomiting that looks like coffee grounds, changes in urination, unusual weight gain or jaundice
  • Head problems such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light, excruciating headaches, difficulty speaking or thinking, or change in balance
  • Fluid retention that appears as swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, ankles, feet, legs, or hands
  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as a rash or hives, red peeling skin, itching or difficulty breathing
  • Bruising or bleeding that cannot be explained
  • Chest problems such as pain, fast or fast heartbeat, and heart palpitations
  • Flu-like symptoms with acute fatigue
  • Excruciating back pain

Acetaminophen warnings

Taking too much acetaminophen can cause serious damage to the liver, especially if taken with other drugs that can damage the liver. Drinking alcohol while taking acetaminophen also increases the risk of liver damage.

Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to Tylenol include redness of the skin, blisters, and a rash. Those taking Tylenol should not mix it with other medicines that contain acetaminophen, or take it for more than 10 days for pain relief and three days for fever relief. Do not take more than 3 grams of acetaminophen per day (maximum recommended daily dose).

Before taking Tylenol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have liver disease or if you are taking warfarin (a medicine to thin the blood). For children and adolescents, this medication should only be taken if they do not recover from symptoms of chickenpox or the flu.


Symptoms of liver toxicity induced by an overdose of Tylenol include jaundice or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, confusion, or liver failure. In some severe cases, liver damage can lead to death. Other symptoms that may be present if your liver is damaged from acetaminophen abuse are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tired
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dark urine and stools
  • Pale skin

If you experience any of these symptoms and think you have taken too much Tylenol, see a doctor straight away.

A word from Verywell

Pain relief is essential when it comes to leading as normal a daily life as possible with a chronic disease such as arthritis. While it is generally safe to take meloxicam and Tylenol together, always consult your doctor before starting any new medication to make sure it is safe for you based on your health and medication history. When used correctly, pain relievers can help you get back to as happy and healthy a life as possible.

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