By GD Searle

What is this medication for?

Celecoxib is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), known as a COX-2 inhibitor. NSAIDs are medications that work by lowering the levels of a natural chemical produced in response to injury or disease, thereby alleviating inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Celecoxib is used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults including swelling and pain. This medication may also be used to treat acute pain, ankylosing spondylitis, menstrual cramps, and colorectal polyps (growths in the bowel walls).

Celecoxib is also used to relieve the symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children 2 years and older.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Celebrex® is available as:

  • capsules
    • 50 mg
    • 100 mg
    • 200 mg
    • 400 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

Acute pain and menstrual cramps: On the first day, the dose is 400 mg taken as a single dose, followed by another 200 mg one time dose if needed. From day 2 forward, the recommended dose is 200 mg taken twice daily as needed.

Ankylosing spondylitis: The recommended starting dose is 200 mg taken once daily or 100 mg taken twice daily. If your symptoms are not improving after 6 weeks, this medication may be increased to 400 mg taken once daily as directed by your doctor.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: The recommended starting dose in children 2 years and older who weigh 10 kg to 25 kg is 50 mg twice daily. For children weighing more than 25 kg, the dose is 100 mg twice daily.

Osteoarthritis: The recommended daily dose is 200 mg taken as a single dose or as 100 mg twice daily.

Rheumatoid arthritis: The recommended starting dose is 100 mg twice daily. This may be increased to 200 mg twice daily as directed by your doctor.

Celecoxib can be taken with or without food. Taking celecoxib with food can prevent stomach upset. Celecoxib should be used at the lowest possible dose and for the shortest possible period of time needed to relieve symptoms.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take celecoxib if you:

  • are allergic to celecoxib or any ingredients of this medication
  • are allergic to sulfonamides or sulfa medications (e.g., sulfamethoxazole)
  • are planning to have or have recently had open heart or bypass surgery
  • have a history of asthma, hives, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs (e.g., naproxen, ibuprofen, diclofenac, rofecoxib)
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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