GENERIC NAME: celecoxib
BRAND NAME: Celebrex
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to treat arthritis, pain, menstrual cramps, and colonic polyps. Prostaglandins are chemicals that are important contributors to the inflammation of arthritis that causes pain, fever, swelling and tenderness. Celecoxib blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase 2), resulting in lower concentrations of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation and its accompanying pain, fever, swelling and tenderness are reduced. Celecoxib differs from other NSAIDs in that it causes less inflammation and ulceration of the stomach and intestine (at least with short-term use) and does not interfere with the clotting of blood.
NSAIDs have been found to prevent the formation and reduce the size of polyps in patients with the genetic disease, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). In FAP, patients develop large numbers of polyps in their colons, and the polyps invariably become malignant. The only cure of FAP is removal of the entire colon. Celecoxib is approved as an adjunctive (secondary) treatment among patients with FAP. The cramping and pain during menstrual periods is due to prostaglandins, and blocking the production of prostaglandins with celecoxib reduces the cramps and pain. The FDA approved celecoxib in December 1998.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Celecoxib is used for the rellef of pain, fever, swelling, and tenderness caused by osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Celecoxib does not prevent the progression of either type of arthritis. It reduces only the symptoms and signs of arthritis. Celecoxib is also approved for patients with familial FAP who have not had their colons removed. Celebrex also is also used for the relief of acute pain and the pain of menstrual cramps (primary dysmenorrhea).
Quick GuideOsteoarthritis (OA): Treatment, Symptoms, Diagnosis
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