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What is Celecoxib?
Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), specifically a COX-2 inhibitor, which relieves pain and swelling (inflammation). It is used to treat arthritis, acute pain, and menstrual pain and discomfort. The pain and swelling relief provided by Celecoxib helps you perform more of your normal daily activities.
If you are treating a chronic condition such as arthritis, ask your doctor about non-drug treatments and/or using other medications to treat your pain. See also Warning section.
Celecoxib works by blocking the enzyme in your body that makes prostaglandins. Decreasing prostaglandins helps to reduce pain and swelling.
Celecoxib may also be used to treat gout attacks.
How to use Celecoxib
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using Celecoxib and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take Celecoxib by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. To decrease the chance of stomach upset, Celecoxib is best taken with food. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take Celecoxib at the lowest effective dose and only for the prescribed length of time (see also Warning section).
Take Celecoxib with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for 10 minutes after taking Celecoxib.
For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking Celecoxib regularly before you get the full benefit.
If you are taking Celecoxib on an "as needed" basis (not on a regular schedule), remember that pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well.
Celecoxib Side Effects
Stomach upset or gas may occur. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed Celecoxib because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using Celecoxib do not have serious side effects.
Celecoxib may raise your blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly and tell your doctor if the results are high.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: severe headache, unexplained weight gain, swelling of the hands or feet, pain/swelling/warmth in the groin/calf, change in amount of urine, difficult/painful swallowing, unusual tiredness.
Celecoxib may rarely cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease. Get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of liver damage, including: dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting/loss of appetite, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to Celecoxib is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking Celecoxib, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to aspirin, other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), other COX-2 inhibitors; or if you have any other allergies. Celecoxib may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using Celecoxib, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: asthma (including a history of worsening breathing after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs), liver disease, stomach/intestine/esophagus problems (such as bleeding, ulcers, recurring heartburn), heart disease (such as angina, heart attack), high blood pressure, stroke, blood disorders (such as anemia, bleeding/clotting problems), growths in the nose (nasal polyps).
Kidney problems can sometimes occur with the use of NSAID medications, including Celecoxib. Problems are more likely to occur if you are dehydrated, have heart failure or kidney disease, are an older adult, or if you take certain medications (see also Drug Interactions section). Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to prevent dehydration and tell your doctor right away if you have any unusual change in the amount of urine.
Celecoxib may cause stomach bleeding. Daily use of alcohol and tobacco, especially when combined with Celecoxib, may increase your risk for stomach bleeding. Limit alcohol and smoking. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of Celecoxib, especially stomach bleeding and kidney problems.
Caution is advised when using Celecoxib for children with a certain type of arthritis (systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) because they may be at increased risk for a very serious bleeding/clotting problem (disseminated intravascular coagulation). Get medical help right away if your child develops sudden bleeding/bruising or bluish skin in the fingers/toes.
Before using Celecoxib, women of childbearing age should talk with their doctor(s) about the benefits and risks (such as miscarriage, trouble getting pregnant). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant. During pregnancy, Celecoxib should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use during the first and last trimesters of pregnancy due to possible harm to the unborn baby and interference with normal labor/delivery.
Celecoxib passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with Celecoxib include: aliskiren, ACE inhibitors (such as captopril, lisinopril), angiotensin II receptor blockers (such as valsartan, losartan), cidofovir, lithium, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide).
Celecoxib may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with other drugs that also may cause bleeding. Examples include anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel, "blood thinners" such as dabigatran/enoxaparin/warfarin, among others.
Check all prescription and nonprescription medicine labels carefully since many medications contain pain relievers/fever reducers (aspirin, NSAIDs such as naproxen or ibuprofen). These drugs are similar to Celecoxib and may increase your risk of side effects if taken together. However, if your doctor has directed you to take low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue taking the aspirin unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.