Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013

Piroxicam

Piroxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It is prescribed to relieve inflammation, swelling, stiffness and is an effective pain killer.

0

Piroxicam is the active ingredient of Adco-Piroxicam, Brexecam, CPL Alliance Piroxicam, Pixicam, Pyrocaps, Rheugesic, Sandoz Piroxicam and Xycam.

General Information

Piroxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. It is prescribed to relieve inflammation, swelling, stiffness and is an effective pain killer. It is of particular use in arthritic conditions, muscle injury, acute attacks of gout and for broad spectrum pain relief.

This medication does not cure the underlying condition responsible for the inflammatory reaction, but simply keeps the symptoms under control.

Piroxicam may irritate or even damage your stomach and the risk increases the longer you take the medication. The same applies if you are taking corticosteroid medications such as prednisone, anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) such as warfarin, or if you smoke or consume alcohol while being treated with piroxicam. To reduce this effect it is advised that you take this medication with food.

It has been reported that people who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as piroxicam) may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than those not taking it. This risk may be higher if you take these medications over a prolonged period of time. Tell your doctor if you have or had heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.

How does piroxicam work?

Piroxicam blocks the production of chemicals in the body responsible for pain, swelling and inflammation.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 3

Available as: Piroxicam is available as tablets, capsules, dispersible tablets and as a gel.

What does it do? Piroxicam reduces pain and inflammation.

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Is piroxicam available as a generic? Yes

Is piroxicam available on prescription only? Yes

User information

Onset of effect: Within 4 hours

Duration of action: Up to 48 hours

Dietary advice: Piroxicam should be taken with meals to minimise gastrointestinal irritation.

Stopping this medicine: Unless your doctor has prescribed piroxicam for long-term use, it can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Prolonged use: The likelihood of adverse effects increases with prolonged use. Your doctor may perform periodic liver and kidney function tests, while also examining you for possible gastrointestinal damage.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You are allergic to any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or

aspirin

  • You have asthma
  • You have a stomach ulcer or gastric reflux
  • You have liver or kidney disease
  • You have heart disease, or have had a stroke or heart attack
  • You have a bleeding disorder
  • You are taking other medication.

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: This medication is not intended for use in children younger than 6 years of age.

Elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly, as side effects may be more likely. The dose may need to be adjusted.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication, as it may worsen stomach irritation.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Abdominal pain

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Nausea

x

x

Headache

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Drowsiness

x

x

Depression

x

x

Swelling (feet/ankles)

x

x

Rash/itch

x

x

Difficulty breathing

x

x

Blood in vomit

x

Dark tarry stools

x

x

Heart palpitations

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

Blood pressure medication

Reduced pressure-lowering effect

Alcohol

Potential gastrointestinal symptoms

Warfarin

Risk of bleeding

Asthma medication

Reduced effect of asthma medication; risk of asthma attack

Cardiac glycosides, digoxin

Risk that heart failure may be more severe

Corticosteroids

Potential gastrointestinal symptoms

Ciclosporin

Potential piroxicam toxicity

Cholestyramine

Reduced effect of piroxicam

Methotrexate

Potential methotrexate toxicity

Diuretics

Potential risk of kidney damage

Blood glucose lowering drugs

Risk of prolonged low blood sugar

Baclofen

Potential baclofen toxicity

Other NSAID's

Potential risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

Probenecid

Risk of piroxicam toxicity

Quionolone antibiotics

Risk of seizures

Tacrolimus

Increased risk of kidney damage

Zidovudine

Increased risk of zidovudine toxicity

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have asthma, a stomach ulcer, bleeding disorder, if you are taking blood thinning medication, or if you are allergic to aspirin or any other medication.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10-40 mg once daily

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.