Does Meloxicam show up on a drug test? 

Does Meloxicam show up on a drug test? 

Meloxicam usually does not show up on a drug test, and as it is not considered a drug of abuse, the standard drug testing is not focused on this medication. 

However, Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). There are other NSAIDs which are known for causing false positives – like Naproxen and Ibuprofen – so it’s hard to say for sure whether or not Meloxicam can show up on drug tests (1). 

If we look at the data from various surveys, false positives on Meloxicam are not reported. However, the primary drug testing procedure is a little unreliable because of not-so-high accuracy rates. 

Urine immunoassays are known for causing false positives because of the cross-reactivity of antibodies used in them. So, it’s probably best if you avoid taking any such medication right before going for your test. 

How long does Meloxicam take to leave your system? 

Meloxicam has a long half-life of about 20 hours, after which the initial concentration of the drug reduces to half in your body (2). The remaining concentration further reduces to half within the next 20 hours and it keeps on going until the drug is completely eliminated from your body. 

This could take up to 4-5 days, depending on your age, weight, genetics, dosage strength, frequency, and overall body physiology. 

How to avoid Meloxicam showing up on a drug test?

As I have discussed in previous sections, Meloxicam does not really show up on a drug test. Just because the other members of the NSAID family can cause false positives, it’s better to be on the safe side and take necessary precautions. 

If the method of your drug testing is based on Gas Chromatography-Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS), you don’t need to worry about having a false positive as this technique is known to deliver accurate results (3). 

However, if your drug testing is based on a urine immunoassay, it’s best to not take any such medication before it. 

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Alyson Schwebach, Jennifer Ball. Urine Drug Screening: Minimizing False Positives and False Negatives to Optimize Patient Care. US Pharm. 2013;38(12):1-6. Available at:


PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 54677470, Meloxicam; [cited 2023 Jan. 9]. Available from:


Ramoo B, Funke M, Frazee C, Garg U. Comprehensive Urine Drug Screen by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1383:125-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3252-8_15. PMID: 26660182. Available from: