Meloxicam and Celebrex are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used to treat arthritis. Meloxicam is a generic version of Mobic while Celebrex is the brand name for celecoxib. Both drugs work by preventing the release of inflammatory substances called prostaglandins. By blocking their release in the body, meloxicam and Celebrex can alleviate pain, inflammation, and swelling in the joints.
While both NSAIDs treat pain, they have some differences in how they’re used and some side effects to watch out for. Other examples of NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac.
What are the main differences between Meloxicam vs. Celebrex?
Meloxicam (Meloxicam coupons | Meloxicam details) is a generic medication that is usually taken once daily for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Meloxicam can reach peak levels in the blood up to 6 hours after taking a dose. It is absorbed over a longer period of time compared to Celebrex and other NSAIDs.
Celebrex (celecoxib) is a brand name drug that can be taken once or twice daily depending on the type of arthritis being treated. Celebrex (Celebrex coupons | Celebrex details) can also treat menstrual cramps. Peak concentrations of celecoxib are reached 3 hours after administration. Therefore, its effects are produced more quickly but last for a shorter time compared to meloxicam.
|Main differences between Meloxicam vs. Celebrex|
|Drug class||Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)||Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)|
|Brand/generic status||Generic version available||Generic version available|
|What is the generic name?
What is the brand name?
|Generic name: Meloxicam
Brand name: Mobic
|Generic name: Celecoxib
Brand name: Celebrex
|What form(s) does the drug come in?||Oral tablet
Orally disintegrating tablet
|What is the standard dosage?||7.5 mg once daily||200 mg once daily or 100 mg twice daily|
|How long is the typical treatment?||Short-term or long-term use depending on your doctor’s instruction||Short-term or long-term use depending on your doctor’s instruction|
|Who typically uses the medication?||Adults and children over 2 years old and weigh 132 lbs (60 kg) or more||Adults and children over 2 years old and weigh 22 lbs (10 kg) or more|
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Conditions treated by Meloxicam and Celebrex
Meloxicam is an FDA-approved generic medication to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune type of inflammation, in children 2 to 17 years old who weighs 132 lbs (60 kg) or more.
Celebrex (celecoxib) is a brand name drug FDA approved to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also treats juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children 2 to 17 years old who weighs 22 lbs (10 kg) or more. Celebrex can also treat arthritis of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis), menstrual cramp pain (primary dysmenorrhea), and general acute pain.
|Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis||Yes||Yes|
Is Meloxicam or Celebrex more effective?
Meloxicam and Celebrex are both effective at reducing inflammation, pain, and swelling if associated with arthritis. They are COX-2 inhibitor NSAIDs that decrease the production of prostaglandins by blocking the cyclooxygenase (COX-2) enzyme. Because everyone responds to medications differently, their differences in effectiveness vary between individuals.
In one review, COX-2 selective NSAIDs such as meloxicam and celecoxib were found to be equally effective as nonselective NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen for arthritis. However, some results showed that meloxicam may be less effective in some cases. COX-2 selective NSAIDs were found to have less gastrointestinal (GI) side effects such as stomach ulcers compared to other NSAIDs.
Another study showed that, while drugs like celecoxib and meloxicam have less risk of GI adverse events, they may have an increased risk of cardiovascular or heart side effects. However, all NSAIDs, in general, were found to have some cardiovascular risk and should only be taken with proper medical advice.
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Coverage and cost comparison of Meloxicam vs. Celebrex
Meloxicam is a generic medication that is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. The average retail cost of meloxicam is around $35. By using a Single Care discount card, you can save more and pay around $13 for the same quantity.
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Celebrex is a brand-name medication available in a generic version which is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. The average retail cost of brand-name Celebrex is around $230. With a Single Care discount card, you can save on generic celecoxib and pay around $120 for the same quantity.
|Typically covered by insurance?||Yes||Yes|
|Typically covered by Medicare?||Yes||Yes|
|Standard dosage||7.5 mg tablets (quantity of 14)||50 mg capsules (quantity of 60)|
|Typical Medicare copay||Depends on your insurance plan||Depends on your insurance plan|
Common side effects of Meloxicam and Celebrex
Meloxicam and Celebrex share similar side effects. Both NSAIDs can cause side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, and flatulence (gas). Both medications can also cause headache, dizziness, back pain, and flu-like symptoms among others.
More serious side effects may include altered blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and impaired liver function. Although rare, allergic reactions are also possible and include trouble breathing, chest pain, swelling, and hives.
|Edema (fluid buildup in the limbs)||Yes||1.9%||Yes||2.1%|
|Upper respiratory tract infection||Yes||1.9%||Yes||8.1%|
Source: DailyMed (Meloxicam), DailyMed (Celebrex)
Drug interactions of Meloxicam vs. Celebrex
Both meloxicam and Celebrex can interact with blood thinners such as low dose aspirin, warfarin, and other drugs. Taking these medications together can increase the risk of bleeding and stomach ulcers.
Meloxicam and Celebrex can also interact with diuretics and certain blood pressure medications such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and beta blockers. Taking these drugs together may increase the risk of kidney problems.
Meloxicam and Celebrex also interact with lithium, methotrexate, and cyclosporine. Taking these drugs together can lead to increased toxicity.
It’s important to discuss all medications you may be taking with your doctor before taking an NSAID like meloxicam or Celebrex.
|Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant||Yes||Yes|
|Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant||Yes||Yes|
|Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors||Yes||Yes|
|Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)||Yes||Yes|
*This may not be a complete list of all possible drug interactions. Consult a doctor with all medications you may be taking.
Warnings of Meloxicam and Celebrex
Meloxicam and Celebrex both have warnings on their drug labels that indicate a greater risk of gastrointestinal (GI) and cardiovascular effects. These NSAIDs can increase the risk of GI events such as stomach ulcers or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. They can also increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke. If you have a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or other conditions, you may be at a higher risk.
Both meloxicam and Celebrex are not recommended in those who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Meloxicam and Celebrex should be monitored in those with kidney or liver problems as they can make these issues worse. These NSAIDs can also worsen asthma-related to aspirin sensitivity.
It is not recommended to use NSAIDs while pregnant.
Frequently asked questions about Meloxicam vs. Celebrex
What is Meloxicam?
Meloxicam is a generic NSAID medication that can treat inflammation, pain, and swelling from arthritis. It is usually taken once daily depending on your doctor’s prescription. As a relatively selective COX-2 inhibitor, it may have a lower risk of stomach ulcers compared to other NSAIDs.
What is Celebrex?
Celebrex is the brand name for celecoxib, an NSAID that treats arthritis. It can also treat arthritis of the spine as well as menstrual cramps. Celebrex is taken once or twice daily. It belongs to a class of NSAIDs called COX-2 selective NSAIDs.
Are Meloxicam and Celebrex the same?
Meloxicam and Celebrex belong to the same class of medications called NSAIDs. However, they are not the same. They have different uses and may be taken differently depending on the condition being treated.
Is Meloxicam or Celebrex better?
Meloxicam and Celebrex are both effective depending on their use. Meloxicam may be preferred for its once-daily dosing. Celebrex may be preferred for someone who has ankylosing spondylitis or menstrual cramps.
Can I use Meloxicam or Celebrex while pregnant?
Meloxicam and Celebrex should be avoided in women who are pregnant. Taking NSAIDs during the third trimester can increase the risk of heart problems in the baby.
Can I use Meloxicam or Celebrex with alcohol?
No. It is not recommended to use meloxicam or Celebrex with alcohol. Doing so can increase the risk of bleeding or stomach ulcers.
Does Celebrex cause weight gain?
Weight gain is a rare but possible side effect of Celebrex. It can occur in 0.1% to 1.9% of those who take Celebrex, according to the drug label.
Does Celebrex work immediately?
Celebrex starts working as the drug is absorbed in the body. Absorption can occur rather quickly although it may take a couple weeks of taking Celebrex consistently to receive the full benefits.