Report on Celebrex Side Effects and Usage by AskDocWeb

About Celebrex

Picture of Celebrex     Celebrex picture

What is Celebrex?

Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) known as a COX-2 inhibitor used to reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How does Celebrex work?

There are two enzymes in the body called COX-1 and COX-2. COX-1 helps regulate the normal cell function in the stomach and blood. COX-2 plays some role in causing arthritis pain and inflammation. Celebrex is the first product to target the COX-2 enzyme, inhibiting only that enzyme.

We are still looking into this. If you have information about what role these enzymes play in pain and inflammation, please e-mail us and we will add that here.

What side effects do users of Celebrex report?

Celebrex is generally well tolerated. It has a lower incidence of stomach side effects than other anti inflammatory drugs, although this medicine can cause stomach bleeding. If you drink alcohol on a daily basis, do not take this medicine without first discussing it with your doctor. Alcohol use combined with this medicine may increase your risk for stomach bleeding.

The most frequent side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include headache, diarrhea, indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The following adverse reactions are listed for Celebrex along with the percentage of patients who experience that side effect:

  • Headaches: 10% to 16%
  • Hypertension: 13%
  • Diarrhea: 4% to 11%
  • Nausea: 4% to 9%
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion or upset stomach): 9%
  • Fever: 9%
  • Abdominal pain: 4% to 8%
  • Arthralgia (pain in a joint or joints): 7%
  • Cough: 7%
  • Vomiting: 6%
  • Gastroesophageal reflux: 5%
  • Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses): 5%
  • Accidental injury: 3%
  • Back pain: 3%
  • Dizziness: 1% to 2%
  • Flatulence (passing gas): 2%
  • Insomnia: 2%
  • Peripheral edema (swelling): 2%
  • Pharyngitis (sore or raw throat): 2%
  • Rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose): 2%
  • Skin rash: 2%

If your side effects continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. Fluid retention, constipation and hair loss have also been reported.

Diverticulitis has been linked to the use of Celebrex in a small percentage of cases. The chances of this side effect increase for people who are over 60 years old, have been taking the drug for 1 to 6 months, also take Lipitor, and/or have Hypertension.

What are the symptoms of overdose?

IF YOU EXPERIENCE difficulty breathing; tightness of chest; swelling of eyelids, face, or lips; or if you develop a rash or hives, tell your doctor immediately.

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include sluggishness; drowsiness; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; slow, shallow breathing; and loss of consciousness.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience swelling of face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; difficulty swallowing or breathing; or hoarseness.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience skin rash or itching; unexplained weight gain; bloating or swelling of ankles, feet, or hands; vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds; blood in stool or vomit; yellowing of skin or eyes; or unusual fatigue.

If you miss a dose of Celebrex

Take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do NOT take 2 doses at once.

Conditions you should tell your Doctor about before taking Celebrex:

Tell your doctor about any medical conditions, pregnancy or allergies you have. Avoid celebrex if you have advanced renal disease. Caution; Borderline elevations of liver enzymes may occur if you have a history of dehydration, fluid retention or heart problems.

FOR WOMEN: If you plan on becoming pregnant, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of using this medicine during pregnancy.

Tell Your Doctor if you’re taking any of the following medicines:

Additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be needed if you are taking an anticoagulant. Tell your doctor of all prescription and over-the-counter medicine that you are taking. This includes any medicines that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen.

Aspirin as prescribed by your doctor for reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (i.e., non-arthritis doses) should be continued.

Do not take this medicine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to a sulfonamide antibiotic (Septra DS, Bactrim DS, Gantrisin) or have asthma.

Storing Celebrex

Store Celebrex at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in a tightly closed container, away from heat, light and children.

General Notes

Do not take any more doses of this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so.

It is unknown if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. Not for use in nursing.

The half-life of Celebrex is 11 hours. If you stop taking this drug it will take about 2.2 days for your body to eliminate it from your system.

If used long term, blood, hepatic and renal functions should be monitored.

This medicine may be taken on an empty stomach or with food.

Do not exceed the recommended dose or take this medicine for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.

Keep all doctors and laboratory appointments while you are using this medicine.

Many say that Celebrex is as effective as ibuprofen without the side effects associated with it.

As with all NSAIDS, Celebrex can lead to the onset of hypertension where none existed before or the worsening of an existing hypertensive condition.

Common Misspellings for Celebrex

Celebrex is often misspelled, as many people hear the word verbally, write it down and spell it incorrectly. Here are a few of the most common misspellings for Celebrex: Celabrex, Selebrex, Calibrex, and Celbrex.

Celebrex Feedback

If you’ve used Celebrex, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history. You can use the form below to add your comments, feedback or Celebrex review.

Side effects of Celebrex

Has anyone ever mentioned depression as a side effect??

AskDocWeb: People have reported some sluggishness and drowsiness but no depression.

Celebrex before hip surgery

I am having total hip replacement surgery and was told not to take any asprin, vitamin E or garlic products. Would celebrex be OK to continue taking. or should I change to non asprin products?


AskDocWeb: We know that others have been told to change to non aspirin products before surgery. Best to talk to your doctor about this.

Question on noticing results when taking celebrex

I have inflammation in my right shoulder and was prescribed celebrex when advil didn’t seem to help with the pain. How long does it normally take to start feeling any relief resulting from celebrex? Does it have to build up in your system?


AskDocWeb:Celebrex starts working within an hour of the first dose. However, the pain relieving effect can take a while to build up as it reduces inflammation. That is likely to increase over time and it may take a couple of weeks to feel the full effect.

I’ve been taking Celebrex for five or six years now (began taking it a few months after it was released to the public). I take 400 mg per day. The medicine definitely does give some pain relief, though far from complete relief. I’m always in pain. However, the two occasions when I’ve decided to see how much or how little relief I get from taking it, and I skip only one day – YIKES, the P A I N!

Does Celebrex contain aspirin?
Why would they ask you to stop taking celebrex 2 wks. before surgery?


AskDocWeb:Celebrex does not contain aspirin but there is an increased risk of bleeding in some types of surgery.

Celebrex and intestinal bleeding
I recently was examined by a N.P. at the Veterans Administration Clinic. I have been taking Celebrex for One and a half years for two medical reasons, 1 a total knee replacement that is 15 years old, 2 a herniated disc at L5 which is not bad enough for surgery this injury is 6 years old. The Ortho, Docs both prescribe Celebrex. The N.P. said for me to discontinue taking Celebrex because it has been determined to cause intestinal bleeding in older adults, and instead for me to take 5.5 MG Vicodin 3 times per day.


I just starting to take celebrex, and I`m wondering if celebrex has others side effect, like sinus and couph ,because I start to having that, also, I have ashma and I was taking vioxx, but this drug don`t do nothing for me anymore, and celebrex right now is doing better for me


AskDocWeb: Yes, sinus and cough are side effects of celebrex. Breathing problems are one of the signs of a reaction to celebrex. Suggest you check with your doctor.

Celebrex weight gain
My daughter left for college 6 weeks ago, one day after being diagnoised with a slipped disk from a gymnastics injury. She was given celebrex to take while she undergoes physical therapy.

She has gained 15 pounds in 6 weeks. She joined weight watchers three weeks ago, but gains weekly. She exercises almost 2 hours a day and eats less that 22 points on weight watchers. She went three days eating the equivalent of 7 points and still gained weight. I finally found some articles linking weight gain to celebrex. She stopped taking the drug yesterday.

She has never really had to watch her weight. She has alway exercised and eaten well. Now, she is extremely depressed. She was a model and actress, and she had always laughed that she could never have a eating disorder because she loves to eat.

Is her health in danger? I have convinced her not to doing something drastic, but to continue to eat the 22 points and exercise, but is there a way to get rid of the weight quickly and not endanger her health? I worry about her mental well being as well as her physical. She said her model face now looks like a swollen pumpkin.


AskDocWeb: Do you think her face looks swollen? A lot of anorexic models say that. If you suspect that her health is in danger then have her get a complete physical to find out what is going on.

Date: 7/15/2003
I’ve been taking celebrex for about a year. I find my breast are enlarging is that one of the side effect?


Weight gain with Celebrex
Date: 7/19/2003
I couldn’t imagine why my weight had started going up for no reason, when I heard someone say that Celebrex caused weight gain. I had been frantically (cutting) calories and food intake, but still was gaining. The weight gain started when I started taking Celebrex. Just thought you would like to know.

Celebrex weight gain?
Date: 9/7/2003
Regarding the young lady who gained weight while taking Celebrex, possibly it could be fluid retention. I was taking 200mg per day and started holding fluid, so I dropped my dosage to every other day. That seemed to help a lot.

Gained 60+ pounds
Date: 2/1/2004
I have used Celebrex for approximately one year. I have Fibromyalgia. I wanted to take it because my brother had colon cancer surgery (family has cancer history) and I researched how THE FDA has approved Celebrex as a preventative for colon cancer & other types of cancer.

My brother began taking 200mg 3X PD– He was in Stage 4 colon Cancer that had spread to his lungs & lymph system. After one year, all tests indicate that he is cancer free–possible by taking Chemo (Celebrex enhances your chemo) & 600mg of Celebrex daily.

I immediately jumped on the band wagon the same time my brother did…& I gained 60+ pounds. I never understood why.

I have blamed every other pill that I’ve taken & never thought about Celebrex. I was taking 400 mg daily. After reading this..BINGO!..I quit celebrex about 2 weeks ago for surgery (it can create bleeding problems in surgery) and suddenly I have started to loose weight. WOW!! I’m sure glade I read your reviews. My weight gain has hurt my Fibromyalgia, caused me great anxiety, depression, a horrible self image and a near divorce (still a real possibility). Packing on 60+ pounds when you are 5’1″ does a number on your body and mind…PRECEDE WITH CAUTION!!



Weight gain
Date: 4/29/2004
I’ve been on Celebrex for a couple of years and have experienced weight gain in spite of a generous exercise habit. I also have a real problem (first ever) with water retention, swelling of face, hands and feet. When I get up in the morning, it feels like I’m walking on a couple of waterlogged life jackets! The Celebrex works great for the tennis elbow I have, but I look so bad in my tennis clothes now that I may give up the drug and get my figure back!


Celebrex with birth control?
Date: 5/21/2004
Hi I just recently started taking celebrex for a swollen knuckle (long story) Anyways… I was wondering if celebrex affects birth control pills (tri cyclen)? You know how some medications mix together they can screw up other medications that you are currently taking! Thank you!


AskDocWeb: We have not received any feedback about that, and found no reference to problems with using Celebrex with birth control.

Recommend Celebrex
Date: 5/29/2004
I’ve used Celebrex for several years. It has been wonderful. I don’t think that I’ve had any side effects, but then some of those are hard to determine.
I am a 46 year old runner and at about 42 I began suffering serious knee pain. It was so severe that I had to run with knee supports. Then my doctor recommended Celebrex. I tried it and have not used a kneepad since.
A couple of fears:
1) That Celebrex is only masking the pain and is not really doing anything to help me.
2) That there are long term effects that have not been discovered.
Other than those, I can (and do) fully recommend Celebrex to others. Thanks!


Read more feedback about Celebrex

Most recent post: July 20, 2017

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