Difference Between Ibuprofen and Meloxicam


Main Difference

The main difference between Ibuprofen and Meloxicam is that Ibuprofen is used to treat mild to moderate pain and inflammation in different diseases and Meloxicam is used to treat pain and inflammation of different types of arthritis.

Ibuprofen vs. Meloxicam

Ibuprofen is NSAID, which is used in diverse diseases to treat pain and inflammation. On the other hand, Meloxicam is also NSAID, which is used in different kinds of arthritis to treat pain and inflammation. Ibuprofen is typically nonselective NSAID whereas Meloxicam is partially selective NSAID. Ibuprofen has a half-life of 2-4 hrs. while Meloxicam has a half-life of 20-24 hrs. Ibuprofen is excreted through urine, on the other hand, Meloxicam is excreted through urine and feces. Ibuprofen chewable tablets are available, on the other hand, Meloxicam chewable tablets are not found. Ibuprofen is an OTC drug, while Meloxicam is a prescription drug. Ibuprofen causes ringing in the air while Meloxicam does not cause ringing in the air. Ibuprofen has a low risk of GI bleeding on the other hand, Meloxicam has a higher risk of bleeding.


Comparison Chart

Ibuprofen is the anti-inflammatory analgesic used to treat inflammatory conditions.Meloxicam is the anti-inflammatory analgesic mostly used to treat arthritis.
Drug Category
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugNon-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug
Elimination Half-Life
2-4 hrs20-24 hrs
Urine (95%)Urine and feces
Side Effects
Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dyspepsia, and Discomfort in the stomach and intestineNausea, Bloating, Diarrhea, Sore throat, Gas, Nervousness, and Stuffy nose
Serious Complications
Edema, Dizziness, Stomach inflammation, Hypertension, Worsening of asthma symptoms, Rare bleeding of stomach and MalenaChest pain, Shortness of breath, Vision problems, Black or bloody stools, Coughing of blood
Dosage form
Tablets, Capsules, Chewable tablets, Oral suspensionsTablet, Suspension, Capsule

What is Ibuprofen?

Ibuprofen is the drug which is used to treat the symptoms of the fever, arthritis, menstrual pains, and all other pain, which involves the inflammation, and this drug belong to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Some antiplatelet effect is also associated with Ibuprofen, so it also protects from blood clots. However, people suffering from heart problems, peptic ulcers, and stroke should use Ibuprofen with care. Ibuprofen is strictly prohibited in the 3rd trimester of the pregnancy. Ibuprofen is an alternative of mild opioid analgesics, and unlike opioid analgesics Ibuprofen is non-addictive. Ibuprofen is included in the essential drug lists. Ibuprofen shows its therapeutic action when it blocks prostaglandins production, which causes inflammation or swelling. By blocking the production of prostaglandins Ibuprofen also relieves symptoms of fever.


Ibuprofen starts to show its therapeutic effect just after the intake of the drug. Anti-inflammatory effects of the Ibuprofen take longer time to appear. Ibuprofen should not be taken by patients who are sensitive to the aspirin. Ibuprofen should be taken with caution by the patients of the liver, kidney, respiratory, or the cardiovascular problem. There are some common and some uncommon side effects of the Ibuprofen. Common unwanted effects of the Ibuprofen are vomiting, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and discomfort in the stomach and intestine. The uncommon side effects are edema, dizziness, stomach inflammation, hypertension, worsening of asthma symptoms, rare bleeding of stomach and melaena, bloating. Ibuprofen long term use in women may lead to the reduced fertility. Ibuprofen can be taken orally or intravenously. Orally Ibuprofen is taken every 4-6 hrs with a full glass of water and the patient should not lie down for 10 minutes after taking this drug.


Some Ibuprofen containing brands are Motrin, Advil, and Children,s Motrin, etc.

What is Meloxicam?

Meloxicam is the drug which is used to treat the inflammation and pain of arthritis and belongs to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Meloxicam is prescribed for a short period and in low doses. Meloxicam blocks the cyclooxygenase enzyme, which plays an important role in the ist step of synthesis of the prostaglandins. Meloxicam in low doses shows specificity for the cox-2 enzyme rather than cox-1. Synovial fluid has more concentration of the Meloxicam as compared to the plasma. There are some serious and less serious side effects of the Meloxicam. The serious side effects of the Meloxicam are chest pain, shortness of breath, vision problems, black or bloody stools, coughing of blood, swelling, or weight gain. The less serious side effects are nausea, bloating, diarrhea, sore throat, gas, nervousness, and stuffy nose. Meloxicam should not be used just before or after the bypass. Meloxicam is pregnancy category D, and it can affect the unborn if it is used in the 3rd trimester of the pregnancy. Meloxicam may pass in breast milk and can affect the feeding child. Meloxicam should not be used in children younger than two years of age without consulting a doctor. Adults can take maximum 15mg of Meloxicam in a day. Meloxicam is stored at room temperature. Keep Meloxicam in a dry place away from moisture. Keep Meloxicam away from heat and light. Meloxicam is taken when needed. If the patient is on regular treatment of Meloxicam and in case of a missed dose, take it as the patient notices that he has missed the dose. Overdose of Meloxicam can lead to nausea, vomiting, dizziness, bloody stools, coughing, or fever.


Meloxicam common brands are Mobi, Vivlodex, etc

Key Differences

  1. Ibuprofen acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug in several diseases; on the other hand, Meloxicam analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug in different types of arthritis.
  2. Ibuprofen is nonselective in blocking Cox in while Meloxicam is partially selective in blocking Cox.
  3. Ibuprofen half-life is 2-4 hrs, on the other hand, Meloxicam half-life is 20-24 hrs.
  4. Ibuprofen excretion is 95% through the urine, whereas Meloxicam excretion is through urine and feces.
  5. Ibuprofen is available as OTC on the other hand Meloxicam is available on prescription.
  6. Ibuprofen is associated with low risk of GI bleeding while Meloxicam is associated with a high risk of GI bleeding.
  7. Ibuprofen has a higher risk of heart diseases on the other hand Meloxicam has a lower risk of heart diseases.


The conclusion of the above discussion is that Ibuprofen and Meloxicam are NSAIDS and are used for different diseases as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White