Pain Home > Celecoxib

Celecoxib is typically used to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, painful menstrual periods, and acute pain. Unlike most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, this one works by blocking the effects of only the COX-2 enzyme. The most common side effects are diarrhea, indigestion, and abdominal pain; however, most people have no problems.

What Is Celecoxib?

Celecoxib (Celebrex®) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions related to pain and inflammation. It is part of a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs for short. It is a specific type of NSAID known as a COX-2 inhibitor.

Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with celecoxib. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, they are usually minor. Often, they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. However, there are some serious side effects to be aware of.
Some of the most common side effects include:
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain).
Less common but potentially serious side effects include:
  • Cardiovascular problems, including heart attack or stroke
  • Stomach or intestinal problems, including bleeding, ulcers, or a hole (known as a perforation)
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Fluid retention
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Allergic reaction
  • Unexplained rash.
These possible side effects are a risk with all NSAIDs and can lead to life-threatening complications or even loss of life.
(Click Side Effects of Celecoxib to learn more, including additional serious side effects you should report to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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