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Drug

Celecoxib

Pronounced

"sell-eh-COX-ib"

Uses

This medication 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 this medication 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.

This drug works by blocking the enzyme in your body that makes prostaglandins. Decreasing prostaglandins helps to reduce pain and swelling.

Warning

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (including celecoxib) may rarely increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. This effect can happen at any time while taking this drug but is more likely if you take it for a long time. The risk may be greater if you have heart disease or increased risk for heart disease (for example, due to smoking, family history of heart disease, or conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes). Do not take this drug right before or after heart bypass surgery (CABG).

Also, this drug may rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) bleeding from the stomach or intestines. This effect can occur without warning symptoms at any time while taking this drug. Older adults may be at higher risk for this effect. (See also Precautions and Drug Interactions sections.)

Stop taking celecoxib and get medical help right away if you notice any of the following rare but serious side effects: bloody or black/tarry stools, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, chest/jaw/left arm pain, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, weakness on one side of the body, sudden vision changes, slurred speech.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the risks and benefits of treatment with this medication.

Other Uses

This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This drug may also be used for gout attacks.

How to Use This Medication

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 this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once or twice daily. To decrease the chance of stomach upset, this drug is best taken with food. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take this medication at the lowest effective dose and only for the prescribed length of time (see also Warning section).

Take this medication with a full glass of water (8 ounces or 240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medication.

For certain conditions (such as arthritis), it may take up to two weeks of taking this drug regularly before you get the full benefit.

If you are taking this drug 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.

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Information expires December 2019.