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Celebrex Information

Brand Name: Celebrex
Active Ingredient:   celecoxib
Strength(s): 100mg and 200mg
Dosage Form(s):   Capsules
Company Name:    G. D. Searle & Co
Availability:         Prescription only
*Date Approved by the FDA:   December 31, 1998
*Approval by FDA does not mean that the drug is available at this time.

What is Celebrex used for?

Celebrex is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID) that is used to reduce pain and inflammation (swelling and soreness). Celebrex is a medicine for: 

  • relief of osteoarthritis (the arthritis caused by age-related “wear and tear” on bones and joints) 
  • relief of rheumatoid arthritis in adults 
  • management of acute pain in adults (like the short term pain you can get after a dental or surgical operation) 
  • treatment of menstrual pain (pain during women’s monthly periods) 
  • reduce the number of colon and rectum growths (colorectal polyps) in patients with a disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). FAP is an inherited disease in which the rectum and colon are covered with many polyps. Celebrex is used along with the usual care for FAP patients such as surgery and exams of the rectum and colon. 
  • Celebrex has not been shown to reduce cancer that happens with FAP. It is not known whether the effects of Celebrex will last after treatment is stopped. The use of Celebrex in FAP patients for longer than six months has not been studied. Therefore, the usual care of FAP patients should not be changed because of the use of Celebrex. Regular exams of the colon and rectum should take place as scheduled and surgeries for FAP should happen as planned. 

Who should not take Celebrex?

Do not take Celebrex if you: 

  • have had an allergic-type reaction to sulfa medicines 
  • have had asthma, hives or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAID medicines 
  • are allergic to Celebrex or to any of the ingredients in Celebrex 

If you have asthma, you may have aspirin-sensitive asthma. If an aspirin-sensitive asthmatic takes aspirin it can cause severe narrowing of the airway (bronchospasm), and even death. Since this type of reaction to aspirin and other NSAID medicines have happened in aspirin-sensitive patients, aspirin-sensitive patients should not take Celebrex. 

Special Warnings with Celebrex:

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause stomach ulcers that bleed. The chance of this serious problem increases the longer you take Celebrex and with higher doses of Celebrex. Stomach bleeding can also happen suddenly while you take Celebrex. Stop taking Celebrex and call your healthcare provider right away if you get: 

  • a burning stomach pain 
  • black bowel movements that look like tar 
  • vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds 

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause serious allergic reactions that include swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. These allergic reactions may cause problems with breathing, swallowing, and wheezing. Serious allergic skin reactions have also happened. 

General Precautions with Celebrex:

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause serious problems such as liver damage. Some of the warning signs of liver damage are nausea, vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, itching, yellow coloring of skin or eyes, “flu-like” symptoms and dark urine. If these happen, stop taking Celebrex and call your health care provider right away. 

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause serious kidney problems that include sudden kidney failure or worsening of kidney problems that you already have. 

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause fluid retention (holding of water in your body) and swelling. Fluid retention can be a serious problem if you have high blood pressure or heart failure. 

What should I tell my doctor or health care provider?

Tell your health care provider if you: 

  • are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding 
  • have or had angina (chest pain), heart attack or blocked artery in your heart 
  • have kidney problems 
  • have liver problems 
  • have heart failure 
  • have high blood pressure 
  • retain fluids (hold extra body water and swell) 
  • had an allergic reaction to aspirin or other NSAID medicines 
  • had a serious stomach problem in the past 
  • have or had any other medical problems or allergies 

Tell your health care provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Celebrex works or Celebrex may affect how your other medicines work. Your healthcare provider may have to adjust your dose or watch you closely if you take certain medicines. Celebrex cannot take the place of aspirin for prevention of heart attack or stroke. If you take aspirin for this purpose, do not stop taking aspirin without talking to your doctor. 

What are some possible side effects of Celebrex?

(This is NOT a complete list of side effects reported with Celebrex. Your health care provider can discuss with you a more complete list of side effects.)  

In addition to the serious side effects listed above, some common, but less serious side effects with Celebrex include: 

  • headache 
  • indigestion 
  • upper respiratory tract infection (a "cold") 
  • diarrhea 
  • sinus inflammation 
  • stomach pain 
  • nausea 

For more detailed information about Celebrex, ask your health care provider or pharmacist.

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