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). These drugs are not addictive or habit forming. They treat pain. Unlike opioids for pain, these drugs are not controlled substances and not addictive.

Article at a Glance:

Important takeaways about meloxicam and ibuprofen include:

  • Both drugs belong to the same class (NSAIDs)
  • Both are commonly used to treat pain
  • Meloxicam is prescribed and ibuprofen is available over the counter
  • Taking both drugs will not provide an added benefit, but increase side effects
  • Common side effects of NSAIDs are damage to the stomach or kidneys

Similarities of Meloxicam and Ibuprofen

Both of these drugs are generic medications with different brand names. Both are used to treat pain.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) has approved ibuprofen to treat the following conditions:

  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Meloxicam has been approved to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but is also used to treat gout and gout flares.

NSAIDs work to prevent the body from creating certain chemical signals. These can carry different messages, including when blood vessels should expand, telling platelets to clump together and alerting the brain when the body is in pain.

NSAIDS stop these chemical signals and the sensation of pain. NSAIDs can also reduce tenderness, inflammation and swelling. This leads to faster healing for some tissues.

Differences Between Meloxicam and Ibuprofen

One of the main differences between the two is that the meloxicam is a prescription drug and ibuprofen is available over the counter.

Meloxicam has the following brand names:

  • Mobic Tablets
  • Qmiiz ODT
  • Vivlodex capsules

Meloxicam lasts longer than ibuprofen and is taken once daily. It can hurt the stomach and kidneys, but the risk of this is less since it is taken less often than ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is a well-known drug that goes by the following brand names:

  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • NeoProfen
  • Provil

Doses of ibuprofen are taken about every six to eight hours. Most people can take it, but it should be used with caution if you have stomach issues.

It weakens the lining of the stomach over time. NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow to the kidneys, so a person with a history of kidney problems should not use it.

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. Taking them together is only appropriate in a few unique medical situations.

Many people take ibuprofen without realizing that meloxicam is the same kind of drug. For more pain control, you need pain medication from a different class, like acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol).

Side Effects of Meloxicam and Ibuprofen Together

Taken together, these drugs increase the chances of side effects. The most likely damage from this combination is to the stomach or kidneys.

Common symptoms to look for include:

  • Cloudy, discolored or bloody urine
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Gas or bloating
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Swelling of the abdomen, feet, ankles or lower legs

While ibuprofen and meloxicam are not addictive substances, many pain medications are. If you are concerned that you or a loved one is addicted, call The Recovery Village. We can help determine if treatment is right for you.

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Editor – Renee Deveney
As a contributor for Advanced Recovery Systems, Renee Deveney is passionate about helping people struggling with substance use disorder. With a family history of addiction, Renee is committed to opening up a proactive dialogue about substance use and mental health. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more

DailyMed. “IBUPROFEN- Ibuprofen Tablet.” 2016. Accessed 18 June 18, 2019.

DailyMed. “MOBIC- Meloxicam Tablet.” 2018. Accessed 18 June 18, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.