Compare ibuprofen vs. meloxicam

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

ibuprofen

meloxicam

Relieves pain, fever, and swelling. Advil (ibuprofen) works well for treating fever, inflammation, and a variety of mild to moderate pain conditions, but it doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs.Relieves pain and inflammation. Mobic (meloxicam) works well for pain and inflammation and you only take it once a day, but you need a prescription.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.49ibuprofen
Reviews for ibuprofen
88%
of people (All ages) say ibuprofen is worth it
52%
say it works well
4%
say it's a big hassle
892 reviews
Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for meloxicam
64%
+24% better vs. ibuprofen
54%
-2% worse vs. ibuprofen
13%
+9% better vs. ibuprofen
141 reviews
Have you used Mobic (meloxicam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ibuprofenmeloxicam

The ibuprofen FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about ibuprofen side effects »
  • Swelling 2%
  • Insomnia 2%
  • Abdominal pain 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Gas 3%
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Dizziness 3%
  • Headache 3%
  • Anemia 3%
More meloxicam side effects »
How it works
ibuprofenmeloxicam
Advil (ibuprofen) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It stops the inflammation process in your body, which relieves pain, swelling, and fever.Mobic (meloxicam) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It blocks the inflammation process in your body, which relieves pain and swelling.
Type of medication
ibuprofenmeloxicam
Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyLower-cost generic available
Available as
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Suspension
  • Pill
  • Suspension
Used for
ibuprofenmeloxicam
Risk factors for serious side effects
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • History of heart problems
  • Taking Advil (ibuprofen) for a long period of time
  • History of stomach bleeding
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or blood thinners
Detailed Advil (ibuprofen) risks & warnings »
  • History of heart problems
  • Taking the medicine for a long period of time
  • History of stomach bleeding
  • Age 60 or older
  • Taking aspirin, other NSAIDs, or blood thinners
Detailed Mobic (meloxicam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Food
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
  • It needs to be taken with food or millk to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • It should be taken only once a day, with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
Kidneys and liver
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Advil (ibuprofen) can damage your kidneys. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Talk to your doctor if this worries you, or if you already have kidney damage before you start taking Advil (ibuprofen).
  • Mobic (meloxicam) can damage your kidneys if you take it for a very long time. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Talk to your doctor if this worries you, or if you already have kidney damage before you start taking Mobic (meloxicam).
Pain
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Do not take for more than 10 days for pain relief or more than 3 days for fever. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not go away.
  • Good for relieving pain due to common conditions like menstrual cramps, toothaches, backaches, and sports-related injuries.
  • Mobic (meloxicam) can cause stomach bleeding which can be dangerous. If you notice blood in your vomit or your stool has bright red blood or looks like black coffee grounds, or if you have pain in your stomach that doesn't go away, talk to your doctor right away.
  • Works well to relieve pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Upsides and benefits
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is effective for treating fever, pain, and inflammation.
  • Good for relieving pain due to common conditions like menstrual cramps, toothaches, backaches, and sports-related injuries.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is generally safe to use, cheap, and available over-the-counter.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) causes less stomach problems than its alternatives.
  • It comes in different flavored liquid forms that makes it easy for children to take.
  • Taken only once a day, while other NSAIDS need to be taken a few times a day for the same effect.
  • Works well to relieve pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Causes less stomach upset than other NSAIDs.
  • Relatively cheap compared to other prescription NSAIDS.
Downsides and risks
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Advil (ibuprofen) doesn't last as long as other NSAIDs, so you need to take it a few times a day to get relief of your symptoms.
  • It needs to be taken with food or millk to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) is not as safe as other alternatives for pregnant women and people who are age 60 or older.
  • It can cause serious complications like stomach bleeding and kidney problems if taken for a long period of time.
  • Like all NSAIDs, Advil (ibuprofen) can raise your risk of getting blood clots, a heart attack, or stroke.
  • Mobic (meloxicam) does not kick in as fast as other NSAIDS.
  • It's available by prescription only.
  • Mobic (meloxicam) is not as safe as other alternatives for pregnant women and people who are age 60 or older.
  • It can cause serious complications like stomach bleeding and kidney problems if taken for a long time.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ibuprofenmeloxicam
  • Starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Take it with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
  • Do not take for more than 10 days for pain relief or more than 3 days for fever. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not go away.
  • If you normally take a daily aspirin, make sure to take Advil (ibuprofen) at least 30 minutes after taking aspirin or more than 8 hours before taking aspirin. This will help make sure the aspirin still works in your body.
  • Advil (ibuprofen) increases the risk of stomach bleeding so tell your doctor right away if you experience any bleeding.
  • If you are allergic to aspirin, there is a chance you may be allergic to Advil (ibuprofen) as well.
  • It should be taken only once a day, with food or milk to prevent stomach upset.
  • Mobic (meloxicam) increases the risk of stomach bleeding so tell your doctor right away if you experience any bleeding.
  • Do not take Mobic (meloxicam) with any blood thinners unless your doctor says so.
  • If you are allergic to aspirin, you may be allergic to Mobic (meloxicam) as well.
  • The capsule, suspension, and tablet forms of the medicine come in different strengths, so be careful when switching from one form to another.
Learn more
More about ibuprofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Advil (ibuprofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about meloxicamSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Mobic (meloxicam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it