Celebrex - New Arthritis Drug (cont.)

MedicineNet: In patients taking Celebrex, whether they are young or old, are there recommended lab tests that should be monitored clinically?

Dr. Isakson: Nothing that pertains specifically to Celebrex. Certainly, if the patient has rheumatoid arthritis and is taking other medications, such as methotrexate, periodic lab tests would be done anyway, but nothing beyond what you would use in your ordinary practice with those patients.

There are some NSAIDs for which periodic lab testing is recommended, and the fact that lab testing is unnecessary for Celebrex may indeed be an additional advantage for Celebrex in clinical practice.

MedicineNet: Are there problems with taking antacids with Celebrex?

Dr. Isakson: No.

MedicineNet: So if a patient is taking an antacid, are there difficulties with the absorption of Celebrex or its beneficial effects?

Dr. Isakson: We saw a slight decrease in the absorption of Celebrex with antacids, but not enough to be clinically meaningful. It would not be sufficient to cause any change in the dose regimen.

MedicineNet: How frequently is Celebrex taken and is it necessary to either eat or abstain from eating prior to taking Celebrex?

Dr. Isakson: We think one of the advantages of Celebrex is the flexibility it offers the patient in terms of when to take the drug and in what context. For osteoarthritis, the recommended dose is 200 mg per day, which can be taken either singly or in divided doses. And, although we found that the absorption is slightly increased when Celebrex is taken with a meal (and that's a good thing), the difference is not enough to alter the dosing regimen. Therefore, Celebrex can be taken either with or without meals, whichever the patient would prefer. Additionally, the 200 mg can be taken either in the morning or at night. So there's a great deal of versatility in the dosing.

For rheumatoid arthritis, the recommended dose is 100 mg twice daily or 200 mg twice daily, with flexibility for the physician to increase the amount, if necessary for a particular patient.

MedicineNet: Dr. Isakson, thank you for such a fine review of the COX-2 story and issues related to Celebrex.

On behalf of all of our viewers and staff at MedicineNet we sincerely thank Dr. Isakson for his expertise and frank clarity in addressing such an important medical topic that will affect so many people.

Last Editorial Review: 7/6/2004