Celebrex, or celecoxib, is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) pain reliever that has been FDA-approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and pain management in adults. Studies have shown that a single 200 mg. Celebrex can provide 24 hours’ worth of relief from the pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and inflammation that often accompany arthritis.
Celebrex may not be the right choice for everyone. Like other prescription NSAIDs, it can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, and this risk becomes greater the longer NSAIDs are taken or if other risk factors are present, such as high blood pressure or heart disease. Those who have aspirin-sensitive asthma or who are allergic to aspirin should also not take Celebrex.
Those who have a history of stomach ulcers, liver and kidney disease, nasal polyps, bleeding disorders, or seizure disorders should discuss their conditions with their doctors prior to taking Celebrex.
All medications have side effects. Less serious side effects of Celebrex can include mild gastrointestinal distress, such as heartburn, diarrhea, upset stomach, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, or gas; headache; tinnitis or ringing in the ears; skin irritation, itching, or rashes; and dizziness or nervousness.
More serious side effects are less common. Chest pain, shortness of breath, slurred speech, unilateral weakness, and swelling of the face or throat are all symptoms requiring immediate medical attention. Nausea, widespread itching, yellowing of the eyes or skin, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, black tarry bowel movements, or swelling and rapid weight gain are all symptoms that indicate stopping Celebrex and calling a health care provider as soon as possible.
Celebrex should be taken exactly as prescribed. It may be taken with food or milk to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal upset. If you are on a dosing schedule and forget a dose, there is no need to take a catch-up dose. It is safe to wait until the next dose is due. If you overdose, you may experience symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, vomiting blood, fainting, or coma. It is imperative to seek emergency medical assistance.
Certain antidepressants can increase the risk of bleeding and abnormal bruising when taken along with Celebrex. Your health care provider needs to know if you are taking warfarin, diuretics, blood pressure medications, fluconazole, ACE inhibitors, or lithium. Before taking Celebrex, it is important to discuss all other medications and supplements you are taking with your health care provider and pharmacist.
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