- Osteoarthritis Overview Slideshow Pictures
- Osteoarthritis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- Exercises for OA of the Knee Slideshow
- What is celecoxib? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for celecoxib?
- What are the side effects of celecoxib?
- What is the dosage for celecoxib?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with celecoxib?
- Is celecoxib safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about celecoxib?
What is celecoxib? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), for example, ibuprofen (Motrin), aspirin, and naproxen (Naprosyn) 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.
What are the uses for celecoxib?
Celecoxib is used for the relief 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).
What are the side effects of celecoxib?
The most common side effects of celecoxib include:
Other and more serious side effects of celecoxib include:
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Aggravation of hypertension
- Chest pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
- Water retention
- Flu-like symptoms
- GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease)
Celecoxib, like other NSAIDs may cause serious stomach and intestinal ulcers that may occur at any time during treatment. Celecoxib does not interfere with the function of the blood platelets and, as a result, does not reduce clotting and lead to increased bleeding time like other NSAIDs.
Allergic reactions can occur with celecoxib. Individuals who have developed allergic reactions (rash, itching, difficulty breathing) from sulfonamides (for example, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim [Bactrim]), aspirin or other NSAIDs may experience an allergic reaction to celecoxib and should not take celecoxib.
NSAIDs (except for low-dose aspirin) may increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and related conditions, which can be fatal. This risk may increase with duration of use and in patients who have underlying risk factors for heart and blood vessel conditions. NSAIDs should not be used for the treatment of pain resulting from coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious, even fatal, stomach and intestinal adverse reactions such as bleeding, ulcers, and perforation of the stomach or intestines. These events can occur at any time during treatment and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients are at greater risk for these types of reactions.
What is the dosage for celecoxib?
The lowest effective dose should be used for each patient.
- For the management of osteoarthritis, the dose usually is 100 mg twice daily or 200 mg as a single dose.
- For rheumatoid arthritis, the dose usually is 200 mg twice daily.
- For acute pain or menstrual cramps, the dose is 400 mg as a single dose on the first day followed by an additional 200 mg if needed, then 200 mg twice daily as needed.
- For FAP, the recommended dose is 400 mg twice daily.
Which drugs or supplements interact with celecoxib?
Concomitant use of celecoxib with aspirin or other NSAIDs (for example, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) may increase the occurrence of stomach and intestinal ulcers. It may be used with low dose aspirin.
Fluconazole (Diflucan) increases the concentration of celecoxib in the body by preventing the elimination of celecoxib in the liver. Therefore, treatment with celecoxib should be initiated at the lowest recommended doses in patients who are taking fluconazole.
Celecoxib increases the concentration of lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) in the blood by 17% and may promote lithium toxicity. Therefore, lithium therapy should be closely monitored during and after therapy with celecoxib.
Persons taking the anticoagulant (blood thinner) warfarin (Coumadin) should have their blood tested when initiating or changing celecoxib treatment, particularly in the first few days, for any changes in the effects of the anticoagulant.
Persons who drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day may be at increased risk of developing stomach ulcers when taking NSAIDs, and this also may be true with celecoxib.
Latest Arthritis News
Daily Health News
Is celecoxib safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Celecoxib has not been studied in pregnant women. In animal studies, doses that were twice the maximally recommended dose were harmful to the fetus. It should not be used in late pregnancy because there is a risk of heart defects in the newborn. Celecoxib should only be used in pregnant women when the benefits outweigh the potential risk to the fetus.
What else should I know about celecoxib?
- Celecoxib is available as capsules: 50, 100, 200, and 400 mg. Capsules should be stored between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
- Celecoxib is available in generic form. You need a prescription to obtain this drug.
- The brand name for celecoxib available in the US is Celebrex.
Celecoxib (Celebrex - Discontinued Brand) is a NSAID (nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug) that is used to treat pain, arthritis pain, menstrual cramps, and colonic polyps. Celebrex is also used relief of pain, fever, swelling, and tenderness caused by osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. There are important drug interactions to review when taking Celebrex. Side effects should also be reviewed.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about treatment, diagnosis, and the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover...
Ankylosing Spondylitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
What is ankylosing spondylitis (AS)? Ankylosing spondylitis is arthritis of the spine. Learn diet and exercise tips for AS, and...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Exercises Slideshow: Joint-Friendly Fitness Routines
Regular exercise boosts fitness and helps reverse joint stiffness for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our experts offer...
Arthritis: 16 Bad Habits That Cause Joint Pain
Being overweight, wearing uncomfortable shoes, or carrying a heavy purse can make joint pain and arthritis symptoms worse. Some...
Ankylosing Spondylitis Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
What is ankylosing spondylitis? Take this quiz to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this painful disorder.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid...
Fun With Kids? Don't Let Arthritis Stop You
You can still have lots of fun with children despite arthritis. Our experts uncover ways to spend time with your kids or...
Arthritis: Causes and Treatment for Joint Stiffness and Pain
Arthritis and injuries can leave your joints swollen, tender, and damaged. Discover treatments for morning stiffness, sore...
Related Disease Conditions
Colon Polyps: Symptoms, Causes, Cancer Risk, Treatment, and Prevention
Colon polyps are common growths on the inner lining of the colon. Colon polyps may become cancerous. There are several different types of colon polyps, and the chance of the polyp becoming cancerous depends on the type, size, and histology. Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding are the most common symptoms of colon polyps. Treatment for colon polyps depend on the type, size, and histology.
Bursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma or strain. Symptoms include stiffness and pain around the hip joint. If the hip bursa is not infected, hip bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Low Back Pain (Lumbar Spine Pain)
There are many causes of back pain. Pain in the low back can relate to the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
Acute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee pain include redness, swelling, difficulty walking, and locking of the knee. To diagnose knee pain, a physician will perform a physical exam and also may order X-rays, arthrocentesis, blood tests, or a CT scan or MRI. Treatment of knee pain depends upon the cause of the pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. The 16 characteristic early RA signs and symptoms include the following. Anemia Both sides of the body affected (symmetric) Depression Fatigue Fever Joint deformity Joint pain Joint redness Joint stiffness Joint swelling Joint tenderness Joint warmth Limping Loss of joint function Loss of joint range of motion Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
Ankle Pain (Tendinitis)
Ankle pain is commonly due to a sprain or tendinitis. The severity of ankle sprains ranges from mild (which can resolve within 24 hours) to severe (which can require surgical repair). Tendinitis of the ankle can be caused by trauma or inflammation.
Menstruation (Menstrual Cycle)
Menstruation (menstrual cycle) is also referred to as a "period." When a woman menstruates, the lining of the uterus is shed. This shedding of the uterine linking is the menstrual blood flow. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. There can be problems with a woman's period, including heavy bleeding, pain, or skipped periods. Causes of these problems may be amenorrhea (lack of a period), menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea), or abnormal vaginal or uterine bleeding. There are a variety of situations in which a girl or woman should see a doctor about her menstrual cycle.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes chronic inflammation of the spine. The tendency to develop ankylosing spondylitis is genetically inherited. Treatment incorporates medications, physical therapy, and exercise.
Bursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms and signs include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. Treatment of knee bursitis depends on whether infection is involved. If the knee bursa is not infected, knee bursitis may be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
16 Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms and Signs
Early RA symptoms and signs vary differently from person to person. The most common body parts that are initially affected by RA include the small joints of the hands, wrists, and feet, and the knees and hip joints. Joint inflammation causes stiffness. Warmth, redness, and pain may vary in degree.
Neck Pain (Cervical Pain)
Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain. Though treatment for neck pain really depends upon the cause, treatment typically may involve heat/ice application, traction, physical therapy, cortisone injection, topical anesthetic creams, and muscle relaxants.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis can be caused by aging, heredity, and injury from trauma or disease.
Elbow pain is most often the result of tendinitis, which can affect the inner or outer elbow. Treatment includes ice, rest, and medication for inflammation. Inflammation, redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness, and decreased range of motion are other symptoms associated with elbow pain. Treatment for elbow pain depends upon the nature of the patient's underlying disease or condition.
Menstrual Cramps and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) Treatment
Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, a feeling of fullness, abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety and more. Treatment for menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms include regular sleep, exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, and OTC or prescription medication depending on the severity of the condition.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms and signs include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs and Ulcers
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are prescribed medications for the treatment of inflammatory conditions. Examples of NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and more. One common side effect of NSAIDs is peptic ulcer (ulcers of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking NSAIDs.
Reactive arthritis is a chronic, systemic rheumatic disease characterized by three conditions, including conjunctivitis, joint inflammation, and genital, urinary, or gastrointestinal system inflammation. Inflammation leads to pain, swelling, warmth, redness, and stiffness of the affected joints. Non-joint areas may experience irritation and pain. Treatment for reactive arthritis depends on which area of the body is affected. Joint inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual cramps are common, and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Severity of menstrual cramp pain varies from woman to woman. Treatment includes OTC or prescription pain relief medication.
Calcific bursitis is the calcification of the bursa caused by chronic inflammation of the bursa. Calcific bursitis most commonly occurs in the shoulder. Calcific bursitis treatment includes medication for inflammation, ice, immobilization, cortisone injections, and occasionally surgical removal of the inflamed bursa.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
Though rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. RA symptoms include joint redness, swelling, and pain that lasts more than six weeks. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread pain, tingling feet or hands, depression, and bowel irritability. Home remedies for both include stress reduction, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six types of JRA. Treatment of juvenile arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms that manifest.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Toe Pain
- Arm Pain
- Neck Pain (Cervicalgia)
- Foot Pain
- Stiff Neck
- Lower Back Pain
- Unsteady Gait
- Heel Pain
- Hip Pain
- Elbow Pain
- Menstrual Cramps
- Knee Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Ankylosing Spondylitis FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Cox-2 Inhibitors Dilemma: What Patients Should Do
- The Cox-2 Inhibitors Controversy: Q&A with Dr. Shiel
- Cox-2 Inhibitors, What's Next? - Expert Panel Votes
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Celebrex - New Arthritis Drug
- What Is Mobic Used for?
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- tramadol (Ultram)
- meloxicam (Mobic) Side Effects
- Cox-2 Inhibitors
- Acetaminophen vs. Ibuprofen for Pain (Differences in Side Effects and Dosage)
- Ibuprofen vs. Meloxicam (Mobic) for Pain
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Ibuprofen (Advil) vs. Naproxen (Aleve): Comparison of Differences
- Drug Interactions
- Aspirin vs. NSAIDs (Side Effect and Use Differences)
- Celexa vs. Cymbalta (Comparison of Differences and Similarities)
- Side Effects of Celebrex (celecoxib)
Prevention & Wellness
- Celebrex May Not Pose Bigger Heart Risk Than Similar Drugs: Study
- Could Prescribed NSAID Painkillers Raise Heart Failure Risk?
- Acetaminophen Won't Help Arthritis Pain, Study Finds
- Ways to Treat Depression That Aren't Antidepressants
- Certain Painkillers Ill-Advised After Heart Attack: Study
- Some Painkillers Tied to Bleeding Risk in Those With Abnormal Heartbeat
- Certain Painkillers Tied to Raised Risk of Death After Stroke
- FDA Approves Generic Version of Painkiller Celebrex
- Ibuprofen, Aleve Won't Raise Miscarriage Risk: Study
- Common Painkillers May Be Risky After Heart Attack
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.