Celebrex (Celecoxib) Side Effects

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Celecoxib is a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), best known as Celebrex. This medication comes in a capsule and may be used to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe Celebrex to help with menstrual cramps, migraines, and pain caused by injury or surgery.

Celecoxib is also a primary ingredient in the medications Elyxyb, which is primarily prescribed for migraines, and Consensi, a combination of amlodipine and celecoxib.

Celecoxib is typically taken one to two times per day. 

Hispanic man examining prescription bottle in kitchen

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Common Side Effects

As with all medications, there's a possibility of side effects when taking Celebrex. Some side effects are more severe than others. 

If you experience a side effect that does not go away or gets worse, contact your pharmacist or the healthcare provider who prescribed this medication for you. Side effects may include:

  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Altered sense of taste

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects and symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in your arms, legs, hands, or feet
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes
  • Bloody stools
  • Black stools
  • Blood in urine
  • Cloudy, discolored urine
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Blisters
  • Hives
  • Swelling of face or throat
  • Liver problems
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Difficulty swallowing

When To Call Your Doctor

If you are experiencing a serious side effect, discontinue taking Celebrex and contact your healthcare provider immediately. If your symptoms are life-threatening, call 911.

Warnings

Black Box Warning

This medication has a black box warning, which is considered the FDA's most severe medication warning. A black box warning is used to alert the consumer and healthcare providers of serious risks to consider before taking or prescribing a medication. 

For Celebrex, the FDA requests this medication have a black box warning due to the increased risk of cardiovascular events, along with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. These side effects are possible with any NSAID. 

Interactions

Any vitamin, supplement, or medication has the potential to interact negatively with other prescription or over-the-counter items. Sharing a list of everything you take with your healthcare providers and pharmacist will help prevent you from experiencing an interaction. If you are concerned about a possible interaction, talk with your pharmacist or prescribing healthcare provider.

The best way to take Celebrex is with food as it will reduce your risk of nausea, gastrointestinal bleeding, or ulcers.

Here are a few examples of known interactions with Celebrex:

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol while taking an NSAID such as Celebrex increases your risk of side effects, specifically gastrointestinal bleeding. It is important to refrain from drinking alcohol while taking Celebrex.

Other NSAID medications

Since Celebrex is an NSAID, combining it with other NSAIDs can be dangerous. Other NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.

Blood Thinners

If you take a blood-thinning medication, make sure your doctor knows this before taking Celebrex. Combining blood-thinning medications such as warfarin with Celebrex increases your risk of bleeding.

High Blood Pressure

If you take Celebrex while on a medication to lower your blood pressure—such as a diuretic or ACE inhibitor—it may impact how well the blood pressure medication works.

Headaches or Migraines

If you take Elyxyb for migraine headaches more than ten times per month, be sure to talk with your doctor. Taking Elyxyb more than ten times per month can create rebound headaches. There may be a more suitable medication to help manage the frequency of your headaches.

Liver Disease

Liver disease can impact your body's ability to process this type of medication. Taking Celebrex while having liver disease will increase your risk of side effects.

A Word From Verywell

Talk to your doctor about any side effects you may be experiencing. If these side effects are bothersome, there may be another medication better suited for you. Call your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you notice any unusual problems while taking Celebrex.

At Verywell, our goal is to provide you with accurate and relevant information. However, we cannot guarantee all complications and interactions have been listed. Always take time to speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions or concerns about taking this medication.

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