Celebrex

bucko27 Community Member March 03, 2009
  • Hi gang!  I hope you are all successfully "weathering" this endless winter.  it can't last much longer...can it? 
    Hey, I've been taking Celebrex for a couple of years now along with my Enbrel and methotrexate.  I take it 2 times per day...200 mg. each pill. This combo has worked well for me, but I wonder about the long term effects of Celebrex on my ticker.  Anyone have any thoughts/input on this?  I have thought seriously about stopping it and plan to talk to my roomy this month when I see him.  I have a left bundle block (may need a pacemaker down the road) of the heart so I do have some heart issues to consider. Anyway, if anyone has some thoughts or input, I am interested in hearing same.

    Thanks! 
    Steve 

8 Comments
  • Jamie
    Mar. 04, 2009

    Hi Bucko27,

     

    I am a pharmacist.  I researched your question on www.epocrates.com, my favorite drug information web site.  You can also search this site for free.

     

    The FDA has given Celebrex what is called a Black Box Warning.  This is not common, only drugs with potentially serious Adverse Affects get these.  I copied and...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi Bucko27,

     

    I am a pharmacist.  I researched your question on www.epocrates.com, my favorite drug information web site.  You can also search this site for free.

     

    The FDA has given Celebrex what is called a Black Box Warning.  This is not common, only drugs with potentially serious Adverse Affects get these.  I copied and pasted the warning here for you.  As you probably know, all the other drugs in this category have been pulled off the market for these same safety reasons.

     

    Black Box Warnings

    Cardiovascular Risk

    may incr. risk of serious and potentially fatal cardiovascular thrombotic events, MI, and stroke; risk may incr. w/ duration of use; possible incr. risk if cardiovascular dz or cardiovascular dz risk factors; contraindicated for CABG peri-operative pain

    GI Risk

    incr. risk serious GI adverse events incl. bleeding, ulceration, and stomach or intestine perforation, which can be fatal; may occur at any time during use and w/o warning sx; elderly pts at greater risk for serious GI events

    Bucko, both the GI and the Cardivascular warnings are of concern with the combination of your high dose (400mg/day) and long term use.  If you have any other Cardiovascular risk factors you are at even higher risk.

     

    In addition, there is a possible drug interaction between your Celebrex and Methotrexate, particularly if the mtx is at high doses.  It can cause the methotrexate to reach toxic levels that cause decreased kidney function and decreased CBC counts.  Periodic kidney function tests and CBC counts will monitor for this drug interaction.

     

    You should discuss with your Doctor any other Cardio. Risk Factors you may have, the possibility of cutting the Celebrex dose in half or eliminating it if warranted.

     

    I have been taking 200mg once daily for 4 months.  I am having labs done right now to check for any Cardivascular Risk Factors.  I don't want to take it for too long because I have already had a couple of GI bleeds from Motrin (ibuprofen) after long term use (years).  Celebrex is the best choice for those of us at risk for a GI bleed but it is still no guarantee it won't cause one.

     

    Hope this was helpful,

     

    Jamie

    • bucko27
      Mar. 04, 2009

      Jamie- Thanks so much for your thorough and thoughtful advice.  I have done very well with Celebrex but it is the length of time I have been taking it that is beginning to make me wonder.  My cardiologist never mentioned a possible problem with celebrex when I last saw him.  You have given me a lot to think about and for starters I am cutting...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Jamie- Thanks so much for your thorough and thoughtful advice.  I have done very well with Celebrex but it is the length of time I have been taking it that is beginning to make me wonder.  My cardiologist never mentioned a possible problem with celebrex when I last saw him.  You have given me a lot to think about and for starters I am cutting back to 200 mg. a day starting right now.  I see my Rheumy this month and will talk further with him.  If there is any other drug out there that I could be looking into to replace the Celebrex with, let me know.  Thanks again for your help!

      Steve

    • Jamie
      Mar. 13, 2009

      Hi Bucko,

       

      How are you doing on your 200mg of Celebrex?  Notice any less efficacy? 

       

      Your Cardiologist may not remember or realize your dose is 400mg.  Wouldn't hurt to remind them and ask his/her opinion of your risk factors.

       

      As for other choices, there are numerous good ones on the market but remember that the specialty class...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Bucko,

       

      How are you doing on your 200mg of Celebrex?  Notice any less efficacy? 

       

      Your Cardiologist may not remember or realize your dose is 400mg.  Wouldn't hurt to remind them and ask his/her opinion of your risk factors.

       

      As for other choices, there are numerous good ones on the market but remember that the specialty class of COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex were taken off the market for the same issues.  The other classes of anti-inflammatories also work well but have a higher risk for GI bleeds.  There is no perfect choice without it's own set of risks, unfortunately.  If you have a cardiologist you must have some risk factors.  It's worth a chat for sure.

       

      Hope you're having a good week.

       

      Jamie

    • bucko27
      Mar. 13, 2009

      Jamie- I talked to my rheumy and he recommended I take 200 mg. each evening.  So that is what I am doing until I see my cardiologist in May.  So far so good.  thanks again for your help!

      Steve

    • mariska
      Mar. 08, 2012

      hi bucko,

       

      i was googling cutting back my celebrex and came upon this site. thank goodness! i also take 200mg 2x a day and wondering why i am taking it if i still have pain. i thought i might cut the dose to 1x a day but was wary of any side effects i might have.i also take methotrexate.

      before i started methotrexate, i was on celebrex. my gp put me on...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      hi bucko,

       

      i was googling cutting back my celebrex and came upon this site. thank goodness! i also take 200mg 2x a day and wondering why i am taking it if i still have pain. i thought i might cut the dose to 1x a day but was wary of any side effects i might have.i also take methotrexate.

      before i started methotrexate, i was on celebrex. my gp put me on that because he suspected i had r.a. i found that it was too expensive, so i stopped taking it. i don't know if it's coincidence or not, but i found my hands were in tremendous pain to the point i was crying at work. i decided i would go back on it again and vowed never to stop. 

      i read the effects of long term use and the heart and stroke thing really frightened me. my endocronologist keeps telling me that i will die of heart attack or stroke because of my rheumatoid arthritis. (he is much like dr. house on the weekly series, house. lol) so since i take methotrexate, do i really need celebrex? and since i take that, i'm increasing my death risk. doesn't sound to cool to me!

      so i would love to know if you are experiencing more pain without the 2nd dose or if you are at the same level. eventually i would like to stop it completely if that won't affect my r.a. negetively.

      thanks so much for your experience! 

      mar

    • bucko27
      Mar. 08, 2012

      Mariska- I am no longer taking celebrex on a daily basis.  Now I only take it when I really need it. Sometimes I go weeks without taking it. I am very fortunate to be able to say my situation has improved.  I try to keep active and exercise which has helped a great deal.  I began taking Enbrel soon after I was diagnosed in 2001. After taking...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Mariska- I am no longer taking celebrex on a daily basis.  Now I only take it when I really need it. Sometimes I go weeks without taking it. I am very fortunate to be able to say my situation has improved.  I try to keep active and exercise which has helped a great deal.  I began taking Enbrel soon after I was diagnosed in 2001. After taking Enbrel for 10 years, I have stopped taking that completely as of Jan 1st.  So far so good.  I still take 12.5 mg. of methotrexate each week and seem to be holding my own.  I am blessed.

      If you can cut back on Celebrex, then do so.  After years of taking it I decided I needed a break from it and I have managed pretty well with occasional use. I can't emphasize enough the importance of exercise in controlling your symptoms.  Even a little exercise pays big dividends. (I also get lots of healing prayers at church).  

      Don't get discouraged!  You can learn to manage your RA over time.  Better days lie ahead!

      Steve

    • bucko27
      Mar. 04, 2009

      Jamie- I checked out the website.  It is terrific. Thanks pal! Laughing

      steve

    • mariska
      Mar. 08, 2012

      hi jamie!

       

      thanks so much for your information! this black box thing doesn't sound good at all! i am definately interested in taking only one celebrex a day, because i take methotrexate already. i can't figure out though, if i'm already taking mtx, why do i need celebrex?

       

      anway, have a great night/day!