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Updated 11 February 2013

Celecoxib

Celecoxib is prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation in patients with various types of arthritis.

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Celecoxib is the active ingredient of Celebrex.

General Information

Celecoxib is prescribed to relieve pain and inflammation in patients with various types of arthritis. It is also used to treat pain after some types of dental surgery, and menstrual pain.

Because it has a more selective action, celecoxib has a lower risk of causing stomach irritation and bleeding. It should however be prescribed with caution to anyone with heart disease.

Celecoxib should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to sulphonamides or anyone who has asthma.

How does celecoxib work?

Celecoxib is a selective anti-inflammatory, meaning that it blocks the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) responsible for prostaglandin (chemicals that play a role in pain and inflammation) synthesis without affecting the enzyme COX-1, involved in the production of prostaglandins that protects the lining of the stomach against stomach ulcers.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 3

Available as: celecoxib is available as capsules

What does it do? celecoxib has a pain relieving and anti-inflammatory action

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is celecoxib available as a generic? no

Is celecoxib available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 1 hour

Duration of action: up to 8 hours

Dietary advice: Celecoxib can be taken with or without food.

Stopping this medicine: Unless used for long periods of time, this drug can be safely stopped when no longer needed.

Prolonged use: Celecoxib should be used for the shortest period possible at the lowest effective dose. Periodic kidney function tests should be performed and patients should contact their prescriber if any symptoms related to stomach ulcers appear.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You are allergic to sulphonamides
  • You have asthma
  • You have a stomach ulcer
  • You have heart disease
  • You have liver or kidney disease
  • You have high blood pressure
  • You are taking other medication

Pregnancy: Avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: Avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: Safety and efficacy of this medication have not been established for children under the age of 18.

Elderly: Caution is advised in the elderly as they are at greater risk of experiencing side effects.

Driving and hazardous work: Caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: Avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may increase the risk of stomach irritation.

Possible side effects

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

Indigestion

x

x

Stomach pain

x

x

Diarrhoea

x

x

Dizziness

x

x

Rash/ itchy skin

x

x

Mild swelling

x

x

Flatulence

x

x

Sore throat

x

x

Difficulty breathing

x

x

Yellowish discoloration of skin or eyes

x

x

Black/bloody faeces/vomit

x

x

Interactions

Drug interactions

fluconazole

possible increase in celecoxib side effects

methotrexate

increased risk of methotrexate toxicity

warfarin

increased risk of bleeding

lithium

increased risk of lithium toxicity

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In the case of a large, intentional overdose, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms may include nausea, stomach pain, breathing difficulty and even coma.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 100-200 mg once to twice daily

Interesting fact

Celecoxib may play a role in reducing the rates of certain cancers.

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
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