Celebrex (Generic)

Celebrex is used to relieve the pain, tenderness, inflammation (swelling), and stiffness caused by arthritis. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Active Ingredients: Celecoxib

Common Uses

Celebrex is used to relieve the pain, tenderness, inflammation (swelling), and stiffness caused by arthritis. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


It is usually taken one or two times a day as needed for pain. Follow the directions on the prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Celebrex exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often that prescribed by you doctor.

Celebrex may be taken with or without food. If Celebrex causes an upset stomach, take it with food.

Celebrex works specifically on an enzyme called COX-2. Scientists discovered two COX enzymes, called COX-1 and COX-2. The COX-1 enzyme plays a role in stomach and kidney damage. The COX-2 enzyme mainly plays a role in inflammation and pain.

While traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen inhibit the COX-2 enzyme and help to relieve pain and inflammation, they also inhibit the COX-1 enzyme and thus can cause gastrointestinal side effects like ulcers.

COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex have specific action on the COX-2 enzyme to decrease pain and inflammation, but have less action on the COX-1 enzyme and thus are associated with a lower occurrence of gastrointestinal side effects.

Side Effects

Stomach upset or tiredness may occur. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor without delay.

The following side effects are very unlikely: Report any black or bloody stools, stomach pain, severe headache or a change in the amount of urine. Also very unlikely but necessary to report are dark urine or yellowing eyes or skin.

In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Celebrex is effective in the treatment of Osteoarthritis. Only Celebrex has FDA approval for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Celebrex is safe unless you are allergic to celecoxib, aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, sulfas, or any other drugs, tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially acetaminophen (Tylenol), amiodarone (Cordarone), anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, chloramphenicol, cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB), diuretics ("water pills"), fluconazole (Diflucan), fluvoxamine (Luvox), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), medications for high blood pressure, omeprazole (Prilosec), zafirlukast (Accolate), other medications for arthritis, and vitamins.

Do not take aspirin or acetaminophen when using Celebrex unless directed to do so by your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver, heart, or kidney disease; high blood pressure; asthma; any stomach problems including ulcers or bleeding; or any other gastrointestinal disease.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Celebrex, call your doctor.

If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Celebrex.

Some interactions between medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Missed dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.

Additional information

Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are prescribed widely in the United States, even though we know they can produce serious side effects.

Just recently the cause of these side effects has been discovered. Scientists discovered two COX enzymes, called COX-1 and COX-2. They are similar in structure except the COX-1 enzyme does not play a role in inflammation and pain and the COX-2 enzyme does. COX-1 leads to the stomach and kidney damage that NSAIDs can cause and COX-2 is found mostly in inflamed tissue. These drugs called the COX-2 inhibitors are thought to be as effective as NSAIDs without the common side effects associated with them.

Celebrex is NOT available generically. Those who are allergic to sulfa drugs should not take Celebrex.

NOTE: The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before taking the product.