Tenoxicam is a medicine called a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It is also known as 'an NSAID'.
Before you take tenoxicam, let your doctor know if you have ever had a bad reaction to any other anti-inflammatory painkiller.
Take one tablet a day, preferably after a meal or snack.
|Type of medicine||Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)|
|Used for||Relief of pain and inflammation|
|Available as||Tablets and injection|
Anti-inflammatory painkillers like tenoxicam are sometimes called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or just 'anti-inflammatories'. Tenoxicam is used to ease pain and reduce inflammation in rheumatic conditions, and also to treat painful conditions such as sprains and strains, and other muscle or joint injuries.
Tenoxicam works by blocking the effect of chemicals in your body, called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. These enzymes help to make other chemicals in the body, called prostaglandins. Some prostaglandins are produced at sites of injury or damage, and cause pain and inflammation. By blocking the effect of COX enzymes, fewer prostaglandins are produced, which means pain and inflammation are eased.
Before taking tenoxicam
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tenoxicam, it is important that your doctor knows:
- If you have asthma or any other allergic disorder.
- If you have ever had a stomach or duodenal ulcer, or if you have an inflammatory bowel disorder such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby, or breast-feeding.
- If you are under 18 or over 65 years of age.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have a heart condition, or a problem with your blood vessels or circulation.
- If you have high blood pressure.
- If you have ever had blood clotting problems.
- If you have high blood sugar or cholesterol levels.
- If you are a smoker.
- If you have a connective tissue disorder, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (an inflammatory condition also called lupus, or SLE).
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other NSAID (such as aspirin, naproxen, diclofenac, and ibuprofen), or to any other medicine.
How to take tenoxicam
- Before you start taking tenoxicam, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. The manufacturer's leaflet will give you more information about the tablets and provide a full list of side-effects which you may experience from taking them.
- Take one tablet a day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. Swallow the tablet whole - do not break or crush the tablets.
- Although you may take your doses before meals, it is better to take your doses with a snack or just after eating a meal. This is because the food in your stomach will help to protect from side-effects such as indigestion and stomach irritation.
- Most people find it helps to swallow the tablets with a drink of water.
- If you have been prescribed tenoxicam for muscle or joint injury, it is likely that your course of treatment will last for a week, or possibly two weeks at the most. Longer courses of treatment are prescribed for people with rheumatic conditions.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the forgotten dose. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Your doctor will try to prescribe you the lowest dose for the shortest time to reduce the risk of side-effects. If you need to take tenoxicam for a long time, your doctor may want to prescribe another medicine along with it to protect your stomach from irritation.
- Try to keep any regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress, and is especially important if you are taking tenoxicam for a long-term condition.
- If you have asthma, symptoms such as wheeze or breathlessness can be made worse by anti-inflammatories such as tenoxicam. If this happens to you, you should stop taking the tablets and see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with an anti-inflammatory like tenoxicam. This is because you should not take these tablets with any other anti-inflammatory painkiller, some of which are available in cold and flu remedies which can be bought over the counter.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can tenoxicam cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with tenoxicam. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
|Common tenoxicam side-effects||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain||Make sure you take your doses with a meal or a snack. If the discomfort continues, speak with your doctor|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple meals - avoid rich or spicy foods|
|Diarrhoea or constipation||Drink plenty of water|
Important: if you experience any of the following less common but more serious symptoms, stop taking tenoxicam and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
- If you have any breathing difficulties such as wheeze or breathlessness.
- If you have any signs of an allergic reaction such as swelling around your mouth or face, or a severe itchy skin rash.
- If you pass blood or black stools, bring up (vomit) blood, or have severe tummy (abdominal) pains.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
How to store tenoxicam
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.
This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.
If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.
Further reading and references
; Meda Pharmaceuticals, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2016.
British National Formulary 73rd Edition (Mar 2017); British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.