Celebrex - New Arthritis Drug (cont.)

MedicineNet: If a patient needs to discontinue the medication for a complication, a common question might be "how long is it still in my system"? Dr. Isakson, what is the half-life of Celebrex? (The half-life is the time that it takes the body to naturally eliminate a drug so that the blood level is reduced by one half.)

Dr. Isakson: The half-life of Celebrex is about 11 to 12 hours which means that it is expelled from the body within about 2 1/2 to 3 days after discontinuing the medicine.

MedicineNet: My understanding is that Celebrex is an indicated drug for osteoarthritis and adult rheumatoid arthritis. Is it true that the drug has not yet been studied in children (juveniles)?

Dr. Isakson: That's correct. Our clinical program was designed for adults, meaning 18 years and older, so no one under the age of 18 has been in our trials. We currently have a program ongoing, though, to assess Celebrex in younger patients, with the idea that it could potentially be beneficial in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. That's where we would like to go next with Celebrex in terms of arthritis therapy.

MedicineNet: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are oftentimes used in clinical practice for a variety of purposes beyond the stated indications as listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference recommendations and by the F.D.A. A classic example involves inflammatory conditions which may be temporary, such as sprains and strains. At this time can you speak to other uses of Celebrex?

Dr. Isakson: Celebrex is specifically indicated for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There currently is no data to support the use of Celebrex for other conditions. Nevertheless, we do have trials, either ongoing or soon to begin, in other potential uses, for example in back pain and sprains and strains.

MedicineNet: Because of the pharmacology of Celebrex, there might theoretically be a potential for use of Celebrex in Alzheimer's disease and colon cancer prevention. Any comments?