Use of NSAIDs, including meloxicam, can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus and fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios and, in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. Because of these risks, limit dose and duration of meloxicam use between about 20 and 30 weeks of gestation, and avoid meloxicam use at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy (see Clinical Considerations, Data).
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus
Use of NSAIDs, including meloxicam, at about 30 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy increases the risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment
Use of NSAIDs at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy has been associated with cases of fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment.
Data from observational studies regarding potential embryofetal risks of NSAID use in women in the first or second trimesters of pregnancy are inconclusive.
In animal reproduction studies, embryofetal death was observed in rats and rabbits treated during the period of organogenesis with meloxicam at oral doses equivalent to 0.65- and 6.5-times the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of meloxicam. Increased incidence of septal heart defects were observed in rabbits treated throughout embryogenesis with meloxicam at an oral dose equivalent to 78-times the MRHD. In pre- and post-natal reproduction studies, there was an increased incidence of dystocia, delayed parturition, and decreased offspring survival at 0.08-times MRHD of meloxicam. No teratogenic effects were observed in rats and rabbits treated with meloxicam during organogenesis at an oral dose equivalent to 2.6 and 26-times the MRHD [see Data].
Based on animal data, prostaglandins have been shown to have an important role in endometrial vascular permeability, blastocyst implantation, and decidualization. In animal studies, administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors such as meloxicam, resulted in increased pre- and post-implantation loss. Prostaglandins also have been shown to have an important role in fetal kidney development. In published animal studies, prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors have been reported to impair kidney development when administered at clinically relevant doses.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population(s) is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively.
Fetal/Neonatal Adverse Reactions
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Avoid use of NSAIDs in women at about 30 weeks gestation and later in pregnancy, because NSAIDs, including meloxicam, can cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus (see Data).
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
If an NSAID is necessary at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy, limit the use to the lowest effective dose and shortest duration possible. If meloxicam treatment extends beyond 48 hours, consider monitoring with ultrasound for oligohydramnios. If oligohydramnios occurs, discontinue meloxicam and follow up according to clinical practice (see Data).
Labor or Delivery
There are no studies on the effects of meloxicam during labor or delivery. In animal studies, NSAIDs, including meloxicam, inhibit prostaglandin synthesis, cause delayed parturition, and increase the incidence of stillbirth.
Premature Closure of Fetal Ductus Arteriosus:
Published literature reports that the use of NSAIDs at about 30 weeks of gestation and later in pregnancy may cause premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus.
Oligohydramnios/Neonatal Renal Impairment:
Published studies and postmarketing reports describe maternal NSAID use at about 20 weeks gestation or later in pregnancy associated with fetal renal dysfunction leading to oligohydramnios, and in some cases, neonatal renal impairment. These adverse outcomes are seen, on average, after days to weeks of treatment, although oligohydramnios has been infrequently reported as soon as 48 hours after NSAID initiation. In many cases, but not all, the decrease in amniotic fluid was transient and reversible with cessation of the drug. There have been a limited number of case reports of maternal NSAID use and neonatal renal dysfunction without oligohydramnios, some of which were irreversible. Some cases of neonatal renal dysfunction required treatment with invasive procedures, such as exchange transfusion or dialysis.
Methodological limitations of these postmarketing studies and reports include lack of a control group; limited information regarding dose, duration, and timing of drug exposure; and concomitant use of other medications. These limitations preclude establishing a reliable estimate of the risk of adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes with maternal NSAID use. Because the published safety data on neonatal outcomes involved mostly preterm infants, the generalizability of certain reported risks to the full-term infant exposed to NSAIDs through maternal use is uncertain.
Meloxicam was not teratogenic when administered to pregnant rats during fetal organogenesis at oral doses up to 4 mg/kg/day (2.6-fold greater than the MRHD of 15 mg of meloxicam based on BSA comparison). Administration of meloxicam to pregnant rabbits throughout embryogenesis produced an increased incidence of septal defects of the heart at an oral dose of 60 mg/kg/day (78-fold greater than the MRHD based on BSA comparison). The no effect level was 20 mg/kg/day (26-fold greater than the MRHD based on BSA conversion). In rats and rabbits, embryolethality occurred at oral meloxicam doses of 1 mg/kg/day and 5 mg/kg/day, respectively (0.65- and 6.5-fold greater, respectively, than the MRHD based on BSA comparison) when administered throughout organogenesis.
Oral administration of meloxicam to pregnant rats during late gestation through lactation increased the incidence of dystocia, delayed parturition, and decreased offspring survival at meloxicam doses of 0.125 mg/kg/day or greater (0.08-times MRHD based on BSA comparison).
There are no human data available on whether meloxicam is present in human milk, or on the effects on breastfed infants, or on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for meloxicam and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from the meloxicam or from the underlying maternal condition.
Meloxicam was present in the milk of lactating rats at concentrations higher than those in plasma.
Based on the mechanism of action, the use of prostaglandin-mediated NSAIDs, including meloxicam, may delay or prevent rupture of ovarian follicles, which has been associated with reversible infertility in some women. Published animal studies have shown that administration of prostaglandin synthesis inhibitors has the potential to disrupt prostaglandin-mediated follicular rupture required for ovulation. Small studies in women treated with NSAIDs have also shown a reversible delay in ovulation. Consider withdrawal of NSAIDs, including meloxicam, in women who have difficulties conceiving or who are undergoing investigation of infertility.
The safety and effectiveness of meloxicam in pediatric JRA patients from 2 to 17 years of age has been evaluated in three clinical trials [see Dosage and Administration (2.3), Adverse Reactions (6.1) and Clinical Studies (14.2)].
Elderly patients, compared to younger patients, are at greater risk for NSAID-associated serious cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and/or renal adverse reactions. If the anticipated benefit for the elderly patient outweighs these potential risks, start dosing at the low end of the dosing range, and monitor patients for adverse effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.14)].
No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with mild to moderate hepatic impairment. Patients with severe hepatic impairment have not been adequately studied. Since meloxicam is significantly metabolized in the liver and hepatotoxicity may occur, use meloxicam with caution in patients with hepatic impairment [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
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