Meloxicam is a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which has a higher activity cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) than against cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), with potentially high anti-inflammatory and analgesic action. The voltammetric behaviour of meloxicam was studied using direct current (DC), differential pulse polarography (DPP) and cyclic voltammetry (CV). The influence of several variables (including nature of the buffer, pH, concentration, modulation amplitude, scan rate, drop size, etc.) was examined in DPP method for meloxicam. The best DPP response was obtained in acetate buffer pH 4.88. The peak currents were measured with a static mercury drop electrode at -1.49 V versus Ag/AgCl. Calibration curve for meloxicam, was linear at a concentration range from 0.38 to 15.0 mug ml(-1). The method was validated and applied to the determination of meloxicam in tablets, which were in two different dosage forms. A spectrophotometric method reported in the literature was utilized as a comparison method. There were no significant differences between the results obtained by two methods. DPP method is also available and applicable for the determination of mentioned substance in plasma. Mean recovery was 99.20 +/- 0.37%. It was concluded that the developed method was accurate, sensitive, precise, reproducible and useful for the quality control of meloxicam in pharmaceuticals and spiked plasma. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.