Risk Factors Associated with Celebrex (Celecoxib)

Risks associated with all NSAIDs

NSAIDs (traditional NSAIDs include ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen, meloxicam, and celecoxib), as a class of medications, cause a higher incidence of ulcers, stomach pain, and other gastrointestinal problems. These effects are normally more pronounced in patients taking high doses of NSAIDs for chronic pain.

Prescription-strength NSAIDs such as Celebrex have also been associated with serious cardiovascular complications, including stroke and heart attack. These risks caused the discontinuation of Vioxx in 2004 and Bextra in 2005, which increased the uncertainty about the safety of Celebrex.

Though Celebrex remains legal in the US, it is now labeled with a strongly-worded “black box warning” (meaning the warning message is enclosed in a black box to draw patients’ attention), which warns of the danger of cardiovascular complications with Celebrex.

If you have experienced complications while using Celebrex, there is an easy-to-use online service you can use to make a report to the FDA.

Serious Risk Factors Associated with Celebrex:

Patients using Celebrex should be advised of the risk of developing the following:

  • Bleeding stomach ulcers
  • Liver damage (may be evidenced by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, itching, appetite loss, yellowing of skin or eyes, and dark urine)
  • Sudden kidney failure or worsening of existing kidney conditions
  • Fluid retention (especially dangerous in patients with high blood pressure or congestive heart failure)
  • Severe cardiovascular complications, including heart attack or stroke

Lessen Your Risks By Using as Directed

As with all NSAIDs, it is recommended that Celebrex be taken with food or milk, or at least a full glass of water, to minimize the possibility of damage to the stomach or gastrointestinal lining.

You should never take more than one dose of this medication at a time, or take more than directed by a physician. Doing so may increase your risk of serious complications. Even when taken as directed, this medication carries risks. It is very important that you do not take additional medications containing aspirin if you are currently taking prescription NSAIDs, including Celebrex, as this may cause an accidental overdose.

Who Should NOT Take Celebrex

Certain factors may increase your chance of having complications from Celebrex. Celebrex is NOT recommended for patients who:

  • are allergic to sulfa drugs or aspirinare pregnant or breast-feeding (Celebrex is FDA Pregnancy Category C)
  • have recently undergone bypass surgery
  • have an increased risk of cardiovascular complications or high blood pressure
  • have a history of ulcers, stomach bleeding, or liver or kidney disease
  • are currently on an aspirin regimen or taking another NSAID medication
  • are heavy smokers or drinkers.