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Celecoxib

Generic Name: celecoxib (SEL e KOX ib)
Brand Names: CeleBREX

Medically reviewed by P. Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Dec 17, 2018.

What is celecoxib?

See also: Orencia

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 pain or inflammation caused by many conditions such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and menstrual pain.

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.

Important Information

Celecoxib can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, even if you don't have any risk factors. 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

You should not use celecoxib if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  • 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 ever had:

  • a stomach ulcer, bleeding in your stomach or intestines;

  • heart disease, high blood pressure;

  • asthma;

  • bleeding problems;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • if you smoke or drink alcohol.

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.

This medicine may affect fertility (ability to have children) in women. Ask your doctor about this risk.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

How should I take celecoxib?

Take celecoxib exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Use the lowest dose that is effective in treating your condition.

You may take celecoxib with or without food.

If you cannot swallow a capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture with water. You may save this applesauce mixture for later use in a refrigerator for up to 6 hours.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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 happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

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 taking aspirin or other NSAIDs while you are taking celecoxib.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of stomach bleeding.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using other medicines for pain, fever, swelling, or cold/flu symptoms. They may contain ingredients similar to celecoxib (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, or naproxen).

Celecoxib side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to celecoxib (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

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, leg swelling, feeling short of breath.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;

  • heart problems - swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;

  • signs of stomach bleeding - bloody or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;

  • liver problems - nausea, stomach pain (upper right side), itching, tiredness, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or

  • low red blood cells (anemia) - pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet.

Common celecoxib side effects may include:

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.

What other drugs will affect celecoxib?

Ask your doctor before using celecoxib if you take an antidepressant. Taking certain antidepressants with an NSAID may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Many drugs can interact with celecoxib. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

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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