Arthritis Home > What Is Celebrex Used For?

Celebrex treats several conditions that are related to pain and inflammation, such as arthritis, tendonitis, and painful menstrual periods. The drug works by blocking the COX-2 enzyme, which plays a role in pain and inflammation in the body. Researchers hope that one day, uses of Celebrex will involve treating certain types of cancer, such as melanoma.

Celebrex Uses: An Overview

Celebrex® (celecoxib) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat several conditions related to pain and inflammation. These approved uses for Celebrex include:
Celebrex was previously approved to decrease the number of colon and rectal polyps in people with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a hereditary condition that can cause hundreds of growths (called polyps) in the colon and rectum. People with FAP usually develop colon cancer and/or rectal cancer by their late 30s. However, Celebrex is no longer approved for this use.

How Does It Work?

Celebrex is part of a class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) called COX-2 inhibitors. It works by blocking a particular enzyme (COX-2) that plays a role in pain and inflammation. Unlike other NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen) that target both the COX-1 and the COX-2 enzymes, Celebrex only targets the COX-2 enzyme. The COX-1 enzyme plays an important role in protecting the lining of the stomach.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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