Generic Name: celecoxib (SEL e KOX ib)
Brand Names: CeleBREX
Medically reviewed on September 8, 2017
What is celecoxib?
Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body.
Celecoxib is used to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children who are at least 2 years old. It is also used in the treatment of hereditary polyps in the colon.
Celecoxib can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Celecoxib may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults. You should not take this medicine if you already have bleeding in your stomach or intestines.
Before taking this medicine
Celecoxib can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Even people without heart disease or risk factors could have a stroke or heart attack while taking this medicine.
Do not use this medicine just before or after heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft, or CABG).
Celecoxib may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using celecoxib, especially in older adults.
You should not use celecoxib if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
bleeding in your stomach or intestines;
an allergy to sulfa drugs; or
a history of asthma attack or severe allergic reaction after taking aspirin or an NSAID.
To make sure celecoxib is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;
a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;
liver or kidney disease; or
Taking celecoxib during the last 3 months of pregnancy may harm the unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using celecoxib.
Celecoxib can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Celecoxib is not approved for use by anyone younger than 2 years old.
How should I take celecoxib?
Take celecoxib exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.
You may take celecoxib with or without food.
Take with food if celecoxib upsets your stomach.
To make swallowing easier, you may open the celecoxib capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Discard the empty capsule. If you do not take the mixture right away, keep it in the refrigerator and take it within 6 hours.
If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since celecoxib is sometimes used when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are on a schedule, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking celecoxib?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.
Avoid taking aspirin or other NSAIDs while you are taking celecoxib.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any cold, allergy, or pain medication. Many medicines available over the counter contain aspirin or other medicines similar to celecoxib. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of this type of medication. Check the label to see if a medicine contains aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen.
Celecoxib side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to celecoxib: sneezing, runny or stuffy nose; wheezing or trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of a heart attack or stroke: chest pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, feeling short of breath.
Stop using celecoxib and call your doctor at once if you have:
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
shortness of breath (even with mild exertion);
swelling or rapid weight gain;
signs of stomach bleeding - bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
liver problems - nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
kidney problems - little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath;
low red blood cells (anemia) - pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or
severe skin reaction - fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common celecoxib side effects may include:
stomach pain, indigestion, gas, diarrhea;
swelling in your hands or feet;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Celecoxib dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Pain:
Acute pain: 400 mg initially, followed by 200 mg if needed on the first day. Then, 200 mg twice daily as needed.
Usual Adult Dose for Dysmenorrhea:
400 mg initially, followed by 200 mg if needed on the first day. Then, 200 mg twice daily as needed.
Usual Adult Dose for Osteoarthritis:
200 mg orally once daily or 100 mg orally twice daily.
Usual Adult Dose for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
100 to 200 mg orally twice daily.
Usual Adult Dose for Familial Adenomatous Polyposis:
400 mg orally twice daily with food.
Usual Adult Dose for Ankylosing Spondylitis:
200 mg orally once daily or 100 mg orally twice daily. If after 6 weeks of therapy no results are observed, a trial dose of 400 mg orally daily may be worthwhile. If no response is seen after 6 weeks, consideration should be given to alternate treatment options.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis:
2 years or older:
10 to less than or equal to 25 kg: 50 mg orally twice daily
Greater than 25 kg: 100 mg orally twice daily
What other drugs will affect celecoxib?
Ask your doctor before using celecoxib if you take an antidepressant such as citalopram, escitalopram, fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline (Zoloft), trazodone, or vilazodone. Taking any of these medicines with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);
heart or blood pressure medication, including a diuretic or "water pill"; or
steroid medicine (such as prednisone).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with celecoxib, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use celecoxib only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: cox-2 inhibitors
Other brands: Celebrex