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Brand Name: Celebrex
Drug Class: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)/COX-2 inhibitor
Available in: Capsules
Available OTC? No
As Generic? No

Side Effects

Serious: Stomach ulcers. Black, tarry stools may signal stomach bleeding. Symptoms of liver disease (nausea, fatigue, lethargy, itching, yellowish discoloration of the eyes or skin, fluid retention). Call your doctor immediately.

Common: Indigestion, diarrhea, and mild abdominal pain.

Less Common: Flatulence, mild swelling, sore throat, and upper respiratory tract infection.

Principal Uses

To relieve the pain, inflammation, and stiffness of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How the Drug Works

By inhibiting the activity of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), celecoxib reduces the synthesis of prostaglandins that play a role in causing arthritis pain and inflammation. It does not inhibit the activity of COX-1, the enzyme involved in the synthesis of prostaglandins that help protect against stomach ulcers and other health problems.


For osteoarthritis: 200 mg a day, either as one single dose or 100 mg twice a day. For rheumatoid arthritis: 100 to 200 mg twice a day. To minimize potential gastrointestinal side effects, the lowest effective dose should be used for the shortest possible time.

Onset of Effect

Within 24 to 48 hours.

Duration of Action


Dietary Advice

Celecoxib may be taken with or without food.


Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

If You Miss a Dose

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug

The decision to stop taking the drug should be made in consultation with your physician.

Prolonged Use

The risk of gastrointestinal side effects may be increased with extended use.


Over 60: Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients.

Driving and Hazardous Work: No special problems are expected.

Alcohol: Avoid alcohol when using this medication because it increases the risk of stomach irritation.

Pregnancy: Discuss with your doctor the relative risks and benefits of using this drug while pregnant. Do not use celecoxib during the last trimester.

Breast Feeding: Celecoxib may pass into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for advice on whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug.

Infants and Children: The safety and effectiveness of this drug have not been established for children under the age of 18.


Symptoms: No cases of overdose have been reported. Symptoms may include lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, black, tarry stools, breathing difficulty, and coma.

What to Do: If you suspect an overdose or if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed, call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.

Drug Interactions

Do not take this drug with aspirin or any other NSAIDs without your doctor’s approval. In addition, consult your doctor if you are taking furosemide, ACE inhibitors, fluconazole, lithium, or warfarin.

Food Interactions

No known food interactions.

Disease Interactions

Celecoxib should not be taken by people who have experienced asthma, hives, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. Consult your doctor if you have any of the following: bleeding problems, inflammation or ulcers of the stomach and intestines, asthma, high blood pressure, or heart failure. Use of celecoxib may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney disease, since these organs work together to remove the medication from the body.


From The Johns Hopkins Consumer Guide to Drugs. You can order this book now on our secure server.



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