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By Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD

Over 54 million people in the United States have arthritis, and about one in four adults with arthritis have severe joint pain. Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disease of the joints that occurs when the lining that prevents the bones in your joints from rubbing together breaks down. The result is pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased mobility of the affected joint.

The drugs most commonly used to treat symptoms of arthritis are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), two of which are Celebrex (celecoxib) and Mobic (meloxicam).

What Are Celebrex and Mobic?

Celebrex and Mobic are NSAIDs used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and to treat other conditions. Celebrex is available in 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg capsules. Mobic is available in 7.5 mg and 15 mg tablets.

How Do Celebrex and Mobic Work?

Celebrex and Mobic both work by inhibiting the enzymes that promote the release of substances (prostaglandins) in your body that produce pain and inflammation. The difference is that Celebrex only inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and Mobic inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2.

The COX-1 enzyme protects the lining of your stomach from acid. By selectively inhibiting COX-2, Celebrex is less likely to cause stomach bleeding than Mobic.

What Conditions Do Celebrex and Mobic Treat?

Celebrex can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in patients two years and older
  • arthritis of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis)
  • acute pain
  • menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea)

Mobic is indicated to treat the following:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children who weigh 60 kg (132 pounds) or more

How Fast Do Celebrex and Mobic Work?

Celebrex can reach peak concentration levels in your blood about 3 hours after taking a dose. 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.

What Are the Side Effects of Celebrex and Mobic?

The most common side effects seen with Celebrex include:

  • stomach pain
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles
  • accidental injury
  • runny nose
  • sinus problems
  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • rash

The most common side effects seen with Mobic include:

  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea
  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • flu-like symptoms

Although both Celebrex and Mobic have the potential to cause cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and stroke, one study showed that Celebrex is less likely to cause cardiovascular issues than Mobic.

Additionally, due to its mechanism of action, Celebrex is less likely to cause stomach bleeding and ulcers than Mobic.

What Medications Interact with Celebrex and Mobic?

You should not take Celebrex if you are taking any of the following medications:

  • cidofovir (Vistide)
  • ketorolac (Toradol)
  • thioridazine (Mellaril)

Do not take Mobic if you are taking:

  • cidofovir (Vistide)
  • ketorolac (Toradol)

You should not take aspirin or other NSAIDs while taking Celebrex or Mobic. All NSAIDs, including Celebrex and Mobic, should be stopped if you are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), enoxaparin (Lovenox), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

This list does not represent all possible drug interactions for Celebrex and Mobic. Be sure to discuss any concerns you have about your medication with your pharmacist.

Which Is Better — Celebrex or Mobic?

The choice between Celebrex and Mobic depends on several factors, including which condition you are treating, what other medications you are taking, and the side effects of the drugs.

If you are seeking faster relief from your arthritis pain, Celebrex may be a better option; however, if you are looking for longer-lasting effects, Mobic may be the better choice.

If you are treating rheumatoid arthritis in children, Celebrex can be used in children as young as two years old without regard to a minimum weight.

How Much Do Celebrex and Mobic Cost?

The cost of Celebrex and Mobic varies based on your insurance coverage, where you live, and where you shop. As of the time this article was written, the average retail prescription cost for 30 celecoxib (generic for Celebrex) 200 mg capsules is about $190. The average retail prescription cost for 30 meloxicam (generic for Mobic) 15 mg tablets is about $26.

Remember to consider several factors when deciding which medication is right for you. Your healthcare provider will prescribe medicine according to your symptoms and medical conditions. If your insurance does not cover your mediation, you can use a prescription discount card to get the lowest price at a pharmacy near you.

How Do Prescription Discount Cards Work?

Prescription discount cards, or prescription savings cards, help you obtain the lowest prescription price for your medication. If your insurance does not cover your medication or the cost is too high on insurance, a free Rx savings card may save you up to 80% or more off the retail price. You can use the ScriptSave® WellRx discount card for the best prescription savings at a pharmacy near you.

Rosanna Sutherby is a freelance medical writer who has been a practicing pharmacist in her community for close to 20 years. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. She utilizes her clinical training in the pharmacy, where she helps patients manage disease states such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and many others. Dr. Sutherby reviews and recommends drug regimens based on patients’ concurrent conditions and potential drug interactions.
















naproxen vs ibuprofen - scriptsave wellrx blog image

Naproxen (brand name Aleve) and ibuprofen (brand name Advil) are two common over-the-counter pain relievers. People often reach for one of these when they have common aches and pains such as headaches, muscle pain, menstrual cramps, and arthritis.

Perhaps you’re wondering which medication is best for your particular pain, or you’re concerned about negative effects. Here is what you should know about Aleve vs. Advil and which pain reliever you should choose.

Are Aleve and Ibuprofen the Same Thing?

Naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil) are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and they work in the same way – by blocking COX-2 enzymes and COX-1 enzymes. However, they have different onset times and durations. Naproxen (Aleve) is a long-acting drug, meaning it takes longer to start relieving your pain, but it lasts longer too. Ibuprofen (Advil) is short-acting, so it starts working more quickly but needs to be taken more frequently.

Which Is More Effective at Relieving Pain?

Since naproxen and ibuprofen work in the same way, they are generally equally effective for relieving pain. However, the type of pain you’re experiencing may help you decide which to take.

On average, Aleve lasts eight to twelve hours, while Advil lasts just four to six hours. That means that if you have chronic, long-lasting pain, Aleve is probably a more effective option for you. Advil is better for short-term pain, and it’s also considered safer for children.

Prescription Strength vs. Over the Counter

You may have heard about prescription-strength versions of Aleve and Advil. Doctors may prescribe you a higher dose of either of these medications if you have severe pain. There are also a variety of other NSAIDs that are only available by prescription, such as meloxicam, diclofenac, and indomethacin.

Get Discounts on Prescription Pain Relievers.

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What Are the Potential Side Effects of Aleve and Advil?

While COX-2 enzymes are related to pain and inflammation in the body, COX-1 is involved with the lining of your stomach. This means both Aleve and Advil can cause gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Aleve poses a slightly greater risk of gastrointestinal issues, so if you are concerned about this side effect, you may want to choose Advil, or a different type of pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Additionally, these medications can increase the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. If you have a history of cardiovascular issues, talk to your doctor before using an NSAID.

Some other potential side effects include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Leg swelling
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Rash, throat swelling, and other allergic reactions

Do NSAIDs Interact with Anything?

You should watch out for interactions with any drugs you’re taking. There are some substances that interact with NSAIDs. These include blood thinners such as warfarin or aspirin, as well as substances such as tobacco and alcohol. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the drugs you’re taking, including over-the-counter pain relievers like Aleve and Advil.

Can You Take Naproxen and Ibuprofen Together?

NSAIDs also interact with each other. If you are taking Aleve (naproxen), do not take Advil (ibuprofen) at the same time, and vice versa.

How Many Advil or Aleve Should I Take?

The usual dosage for Advil is one tablet every four to six hours. You can increase the dosage to two tablets if one is not effective, but make sure you don’t exceed six tablets in 24 hours. If you’re taking Aleve, the dosage is one tablet every eight to twelve hours. You can take a second Aleve in the first hour if the first pill doesn’t work, but do not exceed three in 24 hours.

Note that you should not take Aleve for longer than ten days if you’re treating pain, and no longer than three days for a fever. Always take the lowest effective dose, and do not exceed the maximum dosage. Serious adverse health effects could result.

Which Is Better – Aleve or Ibuprofen?

If you’re still wondering whether to take Aleve or ibuprofen, remember that Aleve is a long-acting drug, while ibuprofen is short-acting. Aleve will last longer and is more effective for chronic pain, but it also poses a greater risk for gastrointestinal issues. Ibuprofen needs to be taken more frequently but it is generally safer, especially for children.

If you’ve been prescribed either of these medications, save with our drug price lookup tool. Find the lowest price on pain relievers, or search for discounts on any prescriptions you take.

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