Arthritis Home > Celebrex Precautions and Warnings

There are things to be aware of before taking Celebrex. Some of the warnings related to the use of the drug include a risk of high blood pressure, anemia, and heart failure. To get a better understanding of the warnings and precautions with Celebrex, talk to your healthcare provider about your medical history, including any allergies and current medications.

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Celebrex?

Prior to taking Celebrex® (celecoxib), you should tell your healthcare provider if you have:
Let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Drink alcohol frequently
  • Have recently had heart surgery.
Also, tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings

It's important to be aware of the following warnings and precautions with Celebrex before starting treatment. For example:
  • Celebrex can interact with certain medications (see Celebrex Drug Interactions).
  • All NSAIDs, including Celebrex, have been linked to cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke, which can result in loss of life. People who have cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular risk factors appear to be at greater risk. To decrease the chances of these problems occurring, you should take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period. Call 911 if you notice things such as:
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • Weakness
    • Slurring of speech.
  • All NSAIDs, including Celebrex, may cause high blood pressure or make it worse in people who already have it. Therefore, Celebrex should be used with caution in people with known high blood pressure.
  • All NSAIDs may cause congestive heart failure or fluid retention. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice unexplained weight gain or swelling while taking this drug. Also, Celebrex should be used with caution in people with heart failure.
  • All NSAIDs have been reported to cause problems in the stomach and intestines, including bleeding (known as gastrointestinal bleeding), stomach ulcers, or holes in the stomach or intestines (called perforations). These problems can lead to serious complications or even loss of life. Extreme caution should be used if Celebrex is prescribed for people with a history of ulcers or gastrointestinal bleeding. To decrease the risk of these problems, you should take the smallest effective dose for the shortest period. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms of stomach ulcers or bleeding, including:
    • Stomach pain
    • Indigestion
    • Black, tarry stools
    • Vomiting blood.
  • Kidney damage can occur in people taking NSAIDs. This occurrence is more common in the elderly, as well as in people with kidney disease, heart failure, liver problems, and those taking a diuretic or ACE inhibitor.
  • Liver damage can occur in people taking Celebrex. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice things such as:
    • Nausea
    • Tiredness
    • Lethargy
    • Itchy or yellowing skin
    • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Flu-like symptoms.
  • NSAIDs, including Celebrex, have been reported to cause allergic reactions. Seek emergency medical attention immediately if you notice things such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and throat.
  • In rare cases, people taking Celebrex can develop a serious rash. If you notice an unexplained rash or develop blisters, fever, or itchy skin, stop taking this drug and call your healthcare provider right away.
  • If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting Celebrex. Both Celebrex and frequent alcohol use increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
  • NSAIDS have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes. If elevated liver enzymes do not decrease or become worse, you should stop taking Celebrex.
  • There have been rare reports of anemia in people taking Celebrex. Therefore, if you are taking this drug for an extended period and show signs of anemia, talk to your healthcare provider.
  • You should not take Celebrex with any other NSAID, as this may increase your risk for any of the problems discussed in this article. Many NSAIDs are available without a prescription, so make sure to read all labels carefully. Examples of NSAIDs include:
  • Celebrex should be used with caution in children with systemic onset juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, as the medication might increase the risk of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a potentially fatal condition.
  • This medication could make asthma worse, especially in people with aspirin-sensitive asthma.


  • Celebrex is a pregnancy Category C or D medicine (depending on the stage of pregnancy), which means it could potentially harm your unborn child. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, contact your healthcare provider immediately. (Click Celebrex and Pregnancy for more information.)
  • Celebrex passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding a child, check with your healthcare provider (or your child's healthcare provider) before taking this medication (see Celebrex and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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