Can You Take Ibuprofen With Meloxicam? (2023)

Not sure if you should take these two drugs together? Here’s what the experts have to say about it.

by Matt McMillen Health Writer

Medical Reviewer

Sara Kaprove Penn, M.D.

Can You Take Ibuprofen With Meloxicam? (1)
(Video) Can you take Advil with meloxicam

Ibuprofen and meloxicam are two medications that are commonly taken to relieve arthritis pain. If you’re contending with pain and stiffness, you might wonder, can they be taken together for better results? In short, that’s definitely not a good idea, but to understand why, it helps to get a window into how these two drugs work.

Similarities Between Meloxicam and Ibuprofen

Both meloxicam and ibuprofen belong to a drug class of painkillers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, which are the most-commonly prescribed medications for arthritis. In addition to reducing pain, these drugs also relieve inflammation and swelling, and curb fevers.

Because they’re both NSAIDS, meloxicam and ibuprofen share similarities in how they work. NSAIDs prevent an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX for short) from producing prostaglandins, substances that cause pain by aggravating your nerve endings. COX comes in two forms, COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 protects the lining of your stomach from the chemicals and acids involved in digestion; it also helps with blood clotting and aids your kidneys. COX-2 activates when your joints become inflamed or suffer injury.

Unlike meloxicam, which primarily blocks COX-1, ibuprofen blocks both COX-1 and COX-2, which means pain relief sometimes comes at the cost of an upset stomach.

Differences Between Meloxicam and Ibuprofen

There are several major differences between the two medications. Ibuprofen (sold under different brand names, including Advil and Motrin) is easily available over the counter, though you can get prescription-strength versions, too. As for meloxicam (sold under various brand names, including Mobic and Vivlodex), you’ll need a doctor’s Rx to purchase.

(Video) Meloxicam vs ibuprofen

Meloxicam is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Ibuprofen also can help relieve the symptoms of arthritis, including pain and swelling, but it’s used much more broadly than meloxicam. Ibuprofen is also commonly used to relieve pain caused by sprains, migraines, menstruation, colds and the flu, and sore throat, and may be used to reduce fever as well.

And finally, the timing of the dosage is also different. “Meloxicam is a long-acting drug and taken once a day, with effects that last about 24 hours,” says Ozlem Pala, M.D., a rheumatologist at University of Miami Health System in Florida. “Ibuprofen is short-acting and needs to be taken every six to eight hours.”

Which Is Safer: Meloxicam or Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen blocks COX-1, the enzyme that protects your stomach from irritation. This means that ibuprofen is more likely to upset your stomach than meloxicam. Meloxicam mostly blocks COX-2 rather than COX-1, particularly at lower doses. “Ibuprofen is more likely to cause gastrointestinal upset compared to meloxicam,” says Dr. Pala. “But in general, the side effect profile is about the same.”

That said, there are other side effects that you should be aware of. “Both medications may be associated with less common but serious side effects, including heart attack, stroke, stomach ulcers, and bleeding,” says Claudia Rondon, Pharm.D., a clinical pharmacist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Rondon says that the risk of heart attack and stroke may be higher in those who already have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. Both drugs also can raise your blood pressure. Similarly, people who have a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding may be more likely to develop them while taking these medications. Older adults also are at higher risk.

For both meloxicam and ibuprofen, major side effects are rare, but they can occur with both medications even when taken on their own. The following is a partial list of possible side effects that can be caused by each. Talk to your doctor right away if you notice any of the following.

  • Rash, hives, itching, trouble breathing or swallowing, or other signs of allergic reaction

  • Blood in the urine, vomiting or coughing up blood, or other signs of bleeding

  • Inability to urinate or a change in how much you urinate, which could indicate kidney problems

  • A heartbeat that feels abnormal, confusion, weakness, fatigue, and other signs of high potassium.

  • The signs of heart attack, such as chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, feeling weak or faint, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, jaw, back, or shoulders.

  • Symptoms of stroke, such as weakness on one side of your body, difficulty speaking or thinking, balance and coordination problems, and drooping on one side of your face.

“The safest way to use these medications is to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest time they’re necessary,” says Rondon. “Discuss it with your healthcare provider before taking these medications if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, a history of stroke, or history of stomach ulcers or bleeding.”

Is It Safe to Mix Meloxicam With Ibuprofen?

Experts say no, it is not safe to mix meloxicam with ibuprofen. Here are a few reasons why you should avoid this combination.

(Video) MELOXICAM | Common Side Effects and Who Should Avoid it!

Side Effects of Taking Meloxicam and Ibuprofen Together

Serious side effects can occur if you take these two drugs at the same time, according to Dr. Pala. The combination of meloxicam and ibuprofen can cause damage to your kidneys, bleeding stomach ulcers, high blood pressure (hypertension), and an increased risk of heart disease.

“Taking ibuprofen and meloxicam together may increase the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of these medications,” Rondon says. She adds that this is also the case with other NSAIDs. In particular, taking two or more NSAIDs together increases the risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding.

How Long After Taking Meloxicam Can I Take Ibuprofen?

Meloxicam is a once-a-day, 24-hour dose, so both Rondon and Dr. Pala say you should not take ibuprofen until a full day has passed since your last dose of meloxicam. Rondon has further advice about taking ibuprofen: “When using over-the-counter ibuprofen to treat pain, do not use it for more than 10 days unless recommended by a healthcare provider.”

Is Meloxicam Stronger Than Ibuprofen?

Meloxicam is stronger than over-the-counter ibuprofen. Prescription-strength ibuprofen, however, also is available, Dr. Pala and Rondon say.

Medications Not to Take With Meloxicam

In addition to avoiding ibuprofen while taking meloxicam, here is a partial list of other drugs you should not take with them without consulting with your doctor:

Circling back to the original question: No, you should not take meloxicam and ibuprofen together. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking each drug, and only take them as directed to ensure minimal side effects and complications.

Similarities in How Meloxicam and Ibuprofen Work: American Academy of Family Physicians. “Prescription Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medicines.” https://familydoctor.org/prescription-nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-medicines/

(Video) Can you take Ibuprofen & Naproxen together? #shorts

Upset Stomach and Ibuprofen: National Library of Medicine. (2020.) “LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548278/

Meloxicam: Mayo Clinic. (2022.) “Meloxicam (Oral Route).” https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/meloxicam-oral-route/description/drg-20066928

Ibuprofen: StatPearls. (2021.) “Ibuprofen.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK542299/

Ibuprofen Side Effects: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "Ibuprofen." https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/ibuprofen

Meloxicam Side Effects: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. "Meloxicam." https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/patient-education/meloxicam-01

NSAIDs: Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.) “NSAIDs.” https://www.arthritis.org/drug-guide/nsaids/nsaids

Meet Our Writer

Matt McMillen

Matt McMillen has been a freelance health reporter since 2002. In that time he’s written about everything from acupuncture to the Zika virus. He covers breaking medical news and the latest medical studies, profiles celebrities

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FAQs

Can You Take Ibuprofen With Meloxicam? ›

Meloxicam and Ibuprofen belong to the same class of medications. Taking them together is not recommended unless advised by a doctor. Meloxicam and ibuprofen are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What pain reliever can you take with meloxicam? ›

Summary. Tylenol, the brand name of acetaminophen, and meloxicam, a type of NSAID, can be taken together to relieve pain and other symptoms of arthritis.

Which is stronger ibuprofen or meloxicam? ›

by Drugs.com

Meloxicam is considered a stronger medicine than ibuprofen. Meloxicam is only available on prescription and ibuprofen is available over the counter as well as on prescription. Meloxicam is a long-acting medicine that only needs to be given once a day.

What happens if you take meloxicam and ibuprofen together? ›

The combination of meloxicam and ibuprofen can cause damage to your kidneys, bleeding stomach ulcers, high blood pressure (hypertension), and an increased risk of heart disease. “Taking ibuprofen and meloxicam together may increase the likelihood of experiencing the side effects of these medications,” Rondon says.

How long after taking meloxicam can I take ibuprofen? ›

Official answer. You are best to wait until the effects of the ibuprofen wear off, which would be in around 6 hours time, before starting the Meloxicam and stopping the Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen and meloxicam both belong to the same therapeutic class, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Why can't you drink coffee while taking meloxicam? ›

The tannins present in coffee can bind to these medications and stop the body from absorbing them as effectively. This interaction will only occur if coffee is consumed within 1-2 hours of taking the medication, but still warrants careful monitoring in these patients.

Can I take meloxicam and ibuprofen in the same day? ›

Can I Take Meloxicam and Ibuprofen Together? Can you take meloxicam and ibuprofen together? You can take them together, but taking both drugs at the same time will not provide added benefit. You should only take both drugs on the same day if your doctor instructs you to do so.

Is 15 mg of meloxicam stronger than 800 mg of ibuprofen? ›

Is Meloxicam Stronger than Ibuprofen? Yes, meloxicam is a stronger drug than ibuprofen. Both drugs are available in prescription form but ibuprofen is also available in over-the-counter form.

How many hours does meloxicam last? ›

How Long Does Meloxicam Withdrawal Last. The elimination half-life — the length of time it takes the body to metabolize and get rid of half of the drug in your system — of meloxicam is 15-20 hours.

What should you not take with meloxicam? ›

Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), cidofovir, lithium, methotrexate (high-dose treatment), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).

Is it better to take ibuprofen or Tylenol with meloxicam? ›

Asthma, headache, insomnia and hives are also side effects of NSAIDs. It would be safer for you to add Tylenol to either meloxicam or Aleve but you should not take meloxicam and Aleve together. If the pain does not go away or gets worse see your doctor.

How long does it take for meloxicam to start working? ›

Clinical pharmacist Nonye Uddoh says that “meloxicam treats pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis. It starts working within 30 minutes, but peaks in efficacy at 4 hours when taken by mouth. Its half-life is 15 to 20 hours, meaning it takes 15 hours to eliminate half of it from your body.”

What is stronger than meloxicam for arthritis? ›

Peak concentrations of Mobic are reached up to 5 hours after taking the medication. However, a second peak occurs about 12 to 14 hours after the first dose. This means that Celebrex works faster than Mobic, but the effects of Mobic may last longer than that of Celebrex.

Is it better to take meloxicam at night or in the morning? ›

Should meloxicam (Mobic) be taken in the morning or night? It does not matter when you take meloxicam (Mobic) as long as you take it about the same time every day. It's best to take this medication with food or a small snack in order to prevent stomach upset.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory? ›

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory medication? Research shows diclofenac is the strongest and most effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine available.

What happens if I take 2 meloxicam? ›

If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include: nausea. vomiting.

Does meloxicam cause weight gain? ›

Weight gain and loss are uncommon side effects of meloxicam, observed in less than 2% of people taking it. However, fluid retention (edema) is a common side effect, reported in 0.6% to 4.5% of people taking meloxicam in clinical studies.

What exactly does meloxicam do? ›

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis), such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.

Does meloxicam make you sleepy? ›

Sleepiness is not a common side effect of meloxicam. However, overdosing on meloxicam may cause some sleepiness. In this case, you may need to seek immediate medical attention. The most common side effects of meloxicam include abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness, and headache.

How long after meloxicam can I take Tylenol? ›

No interactions were found between meloxicam and Tylenol.

What time of day should meloxicam be taken? ›

Meloxicam is a once-daily non-steroid antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) that you can take by mouth at any time of the day. It's best take your medicine at about the same time each day, and with food or a meal to help prevent an upset stomach.

Is there an over the counter equivalent to meloxicam? ›

Ibuprofen and Mobic (meloxicam) are both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that treat inflammation and pain. Brand names for ibuprofen are Advil and Motrin. Mobic is available by prescription only, while ibuprofen can be found over-the-counter (OTC), without a prescription.

Is meloxicam the strongest anti-inflammatory? ›

Meloxicam, a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used most frequently to manage the pain and swelling associated with inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It's stronger than over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil and Motrin.

Can I take 2 meloxicam a day? ›

Adults—At first, 7.5 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 15 mg once a day.

Can meloxicam be stopped abruptly? ›

Because meloxicam does not affect the systems normally associated with addiction potential, it is considered to be a nonaddictive drug from that standpoint. As a result, stopping use is unlikely to cause withdrawal symptoms that present with addictive substances, and use can be stopped abruptly without risk.

What does 15 mg of meloxicam do? ›

It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Meloxicam is used to treat pain or inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in adults. Meloxicam is also used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children who are at least 2 years old.

Is 15mg of meloxicam strong? ›

In previous studies, meloxicam has been found to be safe and effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) at doses of 7.5 to 15 mg daily.

Does meloxicam really work for pain? ›

In summary, meloxicam works well for pain and swelling. The higher doses do decrease pain more than the 7.5mg dosage, and the medication is comparable to the NSAID diclofenac for both pain relief and decreasing inflammation.

Is meloxicam good for nerve pain? ›

Meloxicam works by blocking the effects of the enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 which prevents prostaglandin synthesis. Prostaglandins elevate body temperature and make nerve endings more sensitive to pain transmission.

Can you take meloxicam for years? ›

Although 15 mg meloxicam is approved for the management of arthritis-related joint pain, it's not recommended for long-term use.

What is the most effective anti-inflammatory for arthritis? ›

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most-frequently used drugs to ease the pain, inflammation and stiffness that come with arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis.

Is Tramadol better than meloxicam? ›

In conclusion, the study showed that the combination of tramadol 25mg and meloxicam 7.5mg had an analgesic effect similar to that of meloxicam 15 mg, but both were better than tramadol 50mg for relief of pain after the extraction of mandibular third molars.

What are long term side effects of meloxicam? ›

Meloxicam Can Cause Long-Term Harm. All medications have potential side effects. Long-term use of NSAIDs may increase the risk of stomach or intestinal bleeding, ulcers, or holes. Long-term use of non-aspirin NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Does meloxicam keep you awake? ›

The side effects for meloxicam don't mention drowsiness (actually meloxicam can cause insomnia) but does mention dizziness. But headache is a common, less serious side effect of meloxicam.

What can I drink to reduce inflammation? ›

Here are five research-backed drinks that can help fight inflammation in your body.
  • Baking soda + water. A recent study in the Journal of Immunologyfound drinking a tonic of baking soda and water may help reduce inflammation. ...
  • Parsley + ginger green juice. ...
  • Lemon + turmeric tonic. ...
  • Bone broth. ...
  • Functional food smoothie.
Jun 20, 2018

How can I get rid of inflammation fast? ›

To reduce inflammation fast, limit your intake of sugar and processed foods. Perhaps, more importantly, though, pursue exercise, stress-reducing behaviors, a good night's sleep, and a diet full of colorful, anti-inflammatory foods.

What vitamin is good for inflammation? ›

Vitamin C. Vitamin C, like vitamin D, is an essential vitamin that plays a huge role in immunity and inflammation. It's a powerful antioxidant, so it can reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your cells ( 55 ).

Is it better to take ibuprofen or Tylenol with meloxicam? ›

Asthma, headache, insomnia and hives are also side effects of NSAIDs. It would be safer for you to add Tylenol to either meloxicam or Aleve but you should not take meloxicam and Aleve together. If the pain does not go away or gets worse see your doctor.

Can I take two Tylenol with meloxicam? ›

No interactions were found between meloxicam and Tylenol.

What should you not take with meloxicam? ›

Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as losartan, valsartan), cidofovir, lithium, methotrexate (high-dose treatment), "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).

What is stronger than meloxicam for arthritis? ›

Peak concentrations of Mobic are reached up to 5 hours after taking the medication. However, a second peak occurs about 12 to 14 hours after the first dose. This means that Celebrex works faster than Mobic, but the effects of Mobic may last longer than that of Celebrex.

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