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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 3, March 2019, Pages 360-368.

The published version is available at Copyright © Viscusi et al.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To describe the safety and tolerability of intravenous meloxicam compared with placebo across all phase II/III clinical trials.

METHODS: Safety data and opioid use from subjects with moderate to severe postoperative pain who received ≥1 dose of intravenous meloxicam (5-60 mg) or placebo in 1 of 7 studies (4 phase II; 3 phase III) were pooled. Data from intravenous meloxicam 5 mg, 7.5 mg and 15 mg groups were combined (low-dose subset).

RESULTS: A total of 1426 adults (86.6% white; mean age: 45.8 years) received ≥1 dose of meloxicam IV; 517 (77.6% white; mean age: 46.7 years) received placebo. The incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) in intravenous meloxicam and placebo-treated subjects was 47% and 57%, respectively. The most commonly reported TEAEs across treatment groups (intravenous meloxicam 5-15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg and placebo, respectively) were nausea (4.3%, 20.8%, 5.8% and 25.3%), headache (1.5%, 5.6%, 1.6% and 10.4%), vomiting (2.8%, 4.6%, 1.6% and 7.4%) and dizziness (0%, 3.5%, 1.1% and 4.8%). TEAE incidence was generally similar in subjects aged >65 years with impaired renal function and the general population. Similar rates of cardiovascular events were reported between treatment groups. One death was reported (placebo group; unrelated to study drug). There were 35 serious adverse events (SAEs); intravenous meloxicam 15 mg (n=5), intravenous meloxicam 30 mg (n=15) and placebo (n=15). The SAEs in meloxicam-treated subjects were determined to be unrelated to study medication. Six subjects withdrew due to TEAEs, including three treated with intravenous meloxicam (rash, localized edema and postprocedural pulmonary embolism). In trials where opioid use was monitored, meloxicam reduced postoperative rescue opioid use.

CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous meloxicam was generally well tolerated in subjects with moderate to severe postoperative pain.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: NCT01436032, NCT00945763, NCT01084161, NCT02540265, NCT02678286, NCT02675907 and NCT02720692.

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