This study extends earlier findings of the authors demonstrating that meloxicam, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase 2, supports hematopoietic recovery in sublethally irradiated mice and is radioprotective when given before irradiation. We report here that when meloxicam was administered in a single dose 1 h after a lethal 9-Gy whole-body dose, an increased 30-day survival was achieved. Additional studies showed that administration of meloxicam 24 h after lethal irradiation is ineffective and its repeated administration deleterious. Possible mechanisms of the therapeutic effects of meloxicam administered early after irradiation are discussed.

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