Meds and you

Updated 11 February 2013


Parecoxib is exclusively indicated for the management of post-operative pain.


Parecoxib is the active ingredient of Rayzon.

General information

Parecoxib is exclusively indicated for the management of post-operative pain.

Because it has a selective action, parecoxib has a low risk of causing stomach irritation and bleeding compared to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It should, however, be prescribed with caution to anyone with heart disease.

Parecoxib should not be taken if you are allergic to sulphonamides or if you have asthma.

How does it work?

Parecoxib 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 protect the lining of the stomach against stomach ulcers.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: Schedule 3

Available as: Injection

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

Overdose risk: Medium

Dependence risk: Low

Available as a generic? No

Available on prescription only? Yes

Special precautions

Alert your doctor before using this drug if:

  • You are allergic to sulphonamides,
  • You have asthma, or if you have previously found that medication like aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs cause wheezing or difficulty breathing,
  • You have a stomach ulcer,
  • You are dehydrated,
  • You have heart disease,
  • You have liver or kidney disease,
  • You have high blood pressure, or
  • 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 has 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.

Possible side effects

Side effect


Consult your doctor



Only if severe

In all cases




Rash/ itchy skin



Mild swelling






Sore throat or flu-like symptoms



Difficulty breathing




Drug interactions


Possible increase in parecoxib side effects


Increased risk of methotrexate toxicity


Increased risk of bleeding


Increased risk of lithium toxicity

Overdose action

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

Interesting fact

Following injection, parecoxib is rapidly converted to valdecoxib - the same ingredient found in Bextra, a product that has been recalled in South Africa as a result of side effects associated with long-term use. Parecoxib injection is, however, much safer, because it is used for short periods only.

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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