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What Are the Most Common Piroxicam Side Effects?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most common piroxicam side effects involve the gastrointestinal (GI) system, and the central nervous system. They may also impact the skin or certain blood or protein levels. Generally, each reaction to the drug has a low rate of occurrence; all of the most common piroxicam side effects individually occur in less than 10% of patients who take the drug. On the other hand, since there are so many possible reactions, about 30% of the medication’s users will experience one or more adverse effects.

Typically, symptoms arising from the GI tract represent the most common piroxicam side effects. Stomach pain, gas, and nausea are reported by 4-5% of users. Constipation and diarrhea are expected in slightly less than 4% of individuals who take this medicine. A smaller group of piroxcam’s users, less than 2%, experience the more severe symptom of developing a gastric ulcer. Fewer than one in 100 patients respond to the drug with adverse effects like vomiting.

Some piroxicam side effects occur as often or more readily than GI disturbances, but they’re unlikely to be noticed by the drug’s users. Roughly 3-9% of people taking this medication will develop reduced hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. This usually isn’t detected unless a patient has blood testing, though occasionally it may lead to increased bleeding from cuts or easier bruising.

A potential reduction in red blood cells is an important side effect to note. It is one of the reasons why drugs like piroxicam are discontinued several days before surgery, as they may pose risk of increased bleeding. Other side effects detected in laboratory testing can also be valuable in assessing health of patients who are hospitalized, medically compromised, or who have an upcoming surgery. These include increases in creatinine, development of anemia, and decreases in white blood cells.

Most other common piroxicam side effects are easier to detect for the medical layperson. Two such reactions are dizziness and headache, which occur at about the same rate as gas and stomach pain. About 2% of people experience drowsiness when they use piroxicam.

There are a few skin symptoms that may occur for a tiny fraction of piroxicam users. The most common of these is rash, which about two in 100 people develop. Approximately 1% of individuals also get itchiness of the skin, which may or may not be accompanied by a rash.

Additional side effects of piroxicam occur less than 1% of the time, but there are a few more figures worth noting. Roughly 20% of people who get side effects are most affected by GI symptoms. Moreover, of all users, approximately 3-5% will need to discontinue the medication because of serious disturbance of the GI tract.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

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Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGEEK contributor, Tricia...
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