What is it?

Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), used for arthritis to reduce inflammation and ease mild to moderate pain.

FDA approved:

December 1998

Brand Names and International Availability:

Celebrex (US)

How does it work?

Celecoxib works by inhibiting prostaglandin production, primarily by the inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2. It does not inhibit cyclooxygenase-1, which supposedly makes it easier on the stomach than traditional NSAIDs.


For relief of the signs and symptoms of arthritis the recommended oral dose is 100 to 200 mg twice per day.

How should I take it?

Take the medicine with a glass of water. If celecoxib upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk.


Those who have had a prior allergic reaction to other NSAIDs should not take celecoxib.

Celecoxib should be avoided in those with a history of peptic ulcer or GI bleeding.

Celecoxib should be used with caution in those with a history of heart problems or high blood pressure.

Celecoxib should not be given to people with a known sulfa allergy.

Celecoxib is not recommended during late pregnancy or in nursing mothers.

The effects of celecoxib have not been studied in children.

Drug Interactions:

Celecoxib can increase the effect of anti-coagulants.

Celecoxib should not be taken with any other NSAIDs.

Possible side effects:

These side effects are not considered serious but are certainly annoying for those experiencing them. The most frequently reported side effects include constipation or diarrhea, dizziness, gas or heartburn, increased sensitivity to the sun or ultraviolet light, minor upset stomach, dizziness, and headache.

More serious side effects that you should report right away include blood in urine, black, tarry stools, dark yellow or brown urine, difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat, skin rash, hives, redness, blistering, peeling or itching, stomach tenderness, pain, bleeding, or cramps, unexplained weight gain or edema, and yellowing of eyes or skin.

Signs of a possible allergic reaction are rash, swelling and difficulty breathing. These symptoms should be reported immediately.

Precautions & Special Notes:

You will be required to have frequent blood work while on this medication. It is very important that you keep all lab and doctor’s appointments.

If you get black, tarry stools or vomit up what looks like coffee grounds, call your doctor at once. You may have a bleeding ulcer.

For more information:

RxList Celecoxib
MedicineNet Celecoxib
Pharm Info Net Celecoxib

Mosby’s GenRx®, 10th ed. Copyright © 2000 Mosby, Inc.