Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Celecoxib
Why is this drug prescribed: Celebrex is prescribed for acute pain, menstrual cramps, and the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is the first of a new class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) called "COX-2 inhibitors." Like older NSAIDs such as Motrin and Naprosyn, Celebrex is believed to fight pain and inflammation by inhibiting the effect of a natural enzyme called COX-2. Unlike the older medications, however, it does not interfere with a similar substance, called COX-1, which exerts a protective effect on the lining of the stomach. Celebrex is therefore less likely to cause the bleeding and ulcers that sometimes accompany sustained use of the older NSAIDs. Celebrex has also been found to reduce the number of colorectal polyps (growths in the wall of the lower intestine and rectum) in people who suffer from the condition called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an inherited tendency to develop large numbers of colorectal polyps that eventually become cancerous.
Most important fact about this drug: Although Celebrex is easy on the stomach, it still poses some degree of risk--especially if you've had a stomach ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding in the past. If you've ever had such problems, make sure the doctor is aware of it. And be sure to alert the doctor if you develop any digestive problems or black, tarry stools.
How should you take this medication: For best results, take Celebrex regularly, exactly as prescribed. You can take it with or without food. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Celebrex. More common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, indigestion, nausea, respiratory infection, sinus inflammation Less common side effects may include: Back pain, dizziness, gas, insomnia, rash, runny nose, sore throat, swelling Rare side effects may include: Allergic reactions, anxiety, belching, blisters in mouth and eyes, blood disorders, blood infections, blurred vision, bone disorders, breast pain, breast problems, bronchitis, cataracts, chest pain, colitis, conjunctivitis (pinkeye), constipation, coughing, cysts, dark-tarry stools, deafness, depression, dermatitis, diabetes, difficult urination, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, drowsiness, dry mouth, dry skin, earache, ear infection, ear ringing, esophageal perforation, eye infection, eye pain, fainting, fatigue, fever, flu symptoms, fungal infection, gallstones, gangrene, general swelling, glaucoma (pressure in the eye), hair loss, heart failure, heart irregularities, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, hernia of the stomach, herpes infection, hives, hot flashes, increased appetite, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased muscle tone, increased urination, infection, inflammation of the digestive tract, inflammation of the bladder, inflammation of the blood vessels, intestinal bleeding, intestinal obstruction or perforation, itching, jaundice, joint pain or inflammation, kidney problems, laryngitis, leg cramps, liver problems, loss of appetite, loss of balance, low blood sugar, menstrual disorders, migraine headache, mouth ulcers, muscle ache, nail disorders, neck stiffness, nerve pain, nervousness, nosebleeds, pain, painful urination, pancreatitis, phlebitis, pneumonia, poor coordination, prostate problems, severe diarrhea, severe skin rash and peeling, skin reaction due to sunlight, skin sensitivity, skin tingling, stroke, suicide, sweating, swollen face and throat, taste disturbances, tendonitis, tiredness, tooth disorders, urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, vaginal problems, vomiting, weakness, weight gain
Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Celebrex if you are allergic to sulfonamide drugs such as sulfadiazine, sulfisoxazole, Gantanol, and Thiosulfil. Also avoid Celebrex if you've ever suffered an asthma attack, face and throat swelling, or skin eruptions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs. If you find that you are allergic to Celebrex, you will not be able to use it.
Special warnings about this medication: Remember to tell your doctor about any stomach ulcers or bleeding you've had in the past. Also alert your doctor if you develop any digestive problems, swelling, or rash. If you have asthma, use Celebrex with caution. It could trigger an attack, especially if you are also sensitive to aspirin. If you are taking a steroid medication for your arthritis, do not discontinue it abruptly when you begin therapy with Celebrex. Celebrex is not a substitute for such drugs. Celebrex has been known to cause kidney or liver problems, particularly in people with an existing condition. If you have such a disorder, take Celebrex with caution. If you develop symptoms of liver poisoning, stop taking the drug and see your doctor immediately. Warning signs include nausea, fatigue, itching, yellowish skin, pain in the right side of the stomach, and flu-like symptoms. If you are prone to anemia (loss of red blood cells), make sure the doctor knows about it. Celebrex occasionally fosters this problem. Celebrex sometimes causes water retention, which can aggravate swelling, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Use this drug with caution if you have any of these conditions. There is no proof that Celebrex reduces the odds of cancer in people who take the drug for FAP. Although Celebrex can reduce the number of growths, you'll still need the other treatments and frequent checkups that this condition requires. The safety and effectiveness of Celebrex have not been tested in children under 18.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Celebrex is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Celebrex with the following: ACE-inhibitors (a type of blood pressure and heart medication, including such drugs as Capoten, Vasotec, and Prinivil) Blood thinning agents such as Coumadin Fluconazole (Diflucan) Furosemide (Lasix) Lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) Thiazide diuretics (water pills) such as hydrochlorothiazide and Dyazide If you take low-dose aspirin to protect against heart attack, you can continue taking it with Celebrex. Using aspirin increases your risk of stomach ulcers or bleeding, but Celebrex does not have aspirin's protective effect on the heart.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Celebrex can harm a developing baby if taken during the third trimester, and its safety earlier in pregnancy has not been confirmed. Take it during pregnancy only if you feel the risk is justified. It's possible that Celebrex makes its way into breast milk (scientists aren't sure), and it could cause serious reactions in a nursing infant. If this drug is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Osteoarthritis The recommended daily dose is 200 milligrams, taken as a single dose or in 100-milligram doses twice a day. Rheumatoid Arthritis The recommended dose is 100 to 200 milligrams twice a day. Acute Pain and Menstrual Cramps The recommended starting dose is 400 milligrams, followed by an additional 200 milligrams if needed on the first day. On subsequent days, the recommended dosage is 200 milligrams twice a day. Familial Adenomatous Polyposis The recommended dose is 400 milligrams twice a day with food. Dosage is typically cut in half for people with moderate liver problems.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of Celebrex overdose may include: Breathing difficulties, coma, drowsiness, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, kidney failure, nausea, sluggishness, stomach pain, vomiting