More information on the arthritis drug Celebrex (Celecoxib)


Celebrex (celecoxib) is the only anti-COX-2 NSAID currently on the US market. COX-2 selective NSAIDs are believed to be less likely to cause stomach problems than traditional NSAIDs , which are popular medications used to treat arthritis. However, all NSAIDs have a risk of high blood pressure, kidney problems, fluid retention, and heart risk.

Celebrex was approved on December 31, 1998 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the relief of symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Celebrex is marketed by Pfizer.

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What does Celebrex have?

Celebrex is not available without a prescription. It is only available with a prescription. Celebrex is available in two dosage options: 100mg and 200mg. The usual RDA for osteoarthritis is 200 mg once or 100 mg twice a day. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dose for you and your condition.

When is Celebrex prescribed?

Celebrex is prescribed to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It is also used to relieve acute pain in adults (such as after dental or surgical procedures) and to reduce the amount of colon and rectal overgrowth in patients with FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis).

Are there special instructions on how to take Celebrex?

Celebrex should be taken exactly as prescribed. Taking Celebrex with a full glass of water or with a meal can help prevent indigestion .

Are there any patients who should not take Celebrex?

Patients who have an allergic reaction to sulfonamide should not take Celebrex. Also, Celebrex should not be taken by patients who are sensitive to aspirin. Aspirin-sensitive patients are patients who develop hives, asthma, or allergic reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs.

On April 7, 2005, the FDA issued a warning about the cardiovascular risks (such as heart attack and stroke) associated with Celebrex and other NSAIDs. The FDA has recommended that healthcare providers carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks of Celebrex and other treatment options before deciding to use Celebrex.

The FDA and the manufacturer of Celebrex agree that, based on current information, Celebrex should still be on the market. However, patients at high risk for heart attack or stroke should consider the warnings and possible treatment alternatives.

What are the common side effects of taking Celebrex?

Some of the common side effects that can be associated with Celebrex include:

  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Inflammation of the sinuses.
  • Stomach pain or nausea

What other special warnings and precautions apply to the use of Celebrex?

There are certain serious risks associated with celebrex and other NSAIDs. Celebrex or other NSAIDs can cause bleeding from stomach ulcers. Call your doctor if you notice black stools, vomit with blood or coffee grounds, or a burning pain in your stomach.

Celebrex and other NSAIDs can cause liver damage . Warning signs of liver damage include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, itching, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, flu symptoms. Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

When using Celebrex or NSAIDs, kidney problems or sudden kidney failure, or worsening of an existing kidney problem can occur.

Fluid retention can occur with the use of Celebrex or NSAIDs. This can be serious if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.

Are there drug interactions associated with Celebrex?

It is important that you tell your doctor about all other medications you are taking. Other medicines can affect how Celebrex works and Celebrex can affect other medicines. Medications that may interact with Celebrex include:

  • ACE inhibitors (blood pressure medications)
  • Furosemide
  • Fluconazole or ketoconazole
  • Lithium
  • Phenytoin
  • Warfarin
  • Aspirin

Are there special instructions for pregnant or lactating women?

Pregnant women, especially in the last 3 months, should not take Celebrex. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.

What are the signs of a Celebrex overdose?

As with any medication, an overdose of Celebrex can have serious consequences. In case of overdose of Celebrex, the following symptoms may appear: shortness of breath, feeling drowsy or lethargic, coma, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, kidney failure. Use Celebrex only as directed to avoid overdose.

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