Celebrex...take It Just When I'm Hurting?

Question

Asked by AmyAria

Celebrex...take It Just When I'm Hurting?

So I went in for my yearly with the gynocologist a couple weeks ago. I've recently changed my philosophy about "full disclosure" with docs as a result of RA, so I told her ALL the stuff I'm taking, right down to the green tea and fish oil. No wonder I've always tried to minimize my info before. You tell these people "everything" and they secretly scribble "hypochondriac" on their clipboards, don't they? Her eyes started glazing over, just as I feared they might. Then when I said "Celebrex," she said, "Oh, but yeah, you don't have to take that all the time. You just take it when you need it, right?" Playing it cool, I of course answered, "Pfffft, oh yeah sister. I just take it, you know, here and there. Yah, just when I need it. Huh, take it all the time! Who'd do that?"

But now to you I say, uh....I take it every day. That's what the prescription said, once per day. It helps me. I started thinking maybe that was bad and started to not take it, and it's not like I'm back to square one or anything but I do notice a difference. Ummm....help? Was I supposed to treat this stuff like aspirin and just take it when I hurt? Durrrr......?

Answer

ARGH!!! Stuff like this drives me nuts! Seriously, it seems like you are surrounded by incompetent doctors (I remember your post about your "vacation"). Chronic pain requires a completely different way of doing things than acute pain does, but most people, including apparently many doctors, seem clueless about the management of chronic pain, especially significant chronic pain. Instead, they are happily entrenched in the acute pain model, telling you not to take medication until you absolutely need it and apparently preferring you curled up in a ball whimpering on the floor before you touch a baby aspirin.

When you have a condition that involves chronic pain, you are in a race with that pain and if you get behind, it can take forever to catch up. Therefore, if you wait to take painkillers until you have a lot of pain, they will only touch the surface, leaving you still in pain. That's why when you have chronic pain, the doctors (the good ones, anyway) tell you to take the medication every day, sometimes more than once a day, depending on the severity of your symptoms, as it helps you stay ahead of the hurting place. This is even more important when you're taking an anti-inflammatory like Celebrex, as it not only keeps the pain down to a dull roar (hopefully), but is an important tool in keeping your inflammation down, as well and therefore reducing the risk of joint damage. This is about your RA, not your lady bits. Therefore, listen to your rheumatologist and ignore the gynecologist. For that matter, listen to your body - it wants the drug so it can do what you needed to do. You taking Celebrex helps your body help you.

7 Surprising Facts About Arthritis

10 Chronic Pain Myths

Answered by Lene Andersen, MSW