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Celecoxib (Celebrex)

Find out about what celecoxib is, how you have it and other important information about having celecoxib.

Celecoxib is a cancer treatment drug and is also known by its brand name, Celebrex.

Its a treatment sometimes used to try and prevent bowel cancer in people at high risk of developing it.

Clinical trials are looking at whether celecoxib can treat or prevent other types of cancer, including:

  • prostate cancer
  • breast cancer
  • bladder cancer

How it works

Celecoxib is one of a group of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors.

COX-2 inhibitors are a type of anti inflammatory drug. They block a protein called COX-2 that causes inflammation and pain. COX-2 inhibitors are used to control pain caused by some medical conditions such as arthritis.

There is some evidence that the enzyme COX-2 may also help cancers to grow.

How you have it

Celecoxib is a capsule. You swallow it whole with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food.

Taking capsules

You must take tablets and capsules according to the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.

You should take the right dose, not more or less.

Never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.

When you have it

As a painkiller you may take it once or twice a day. As a prevention or treatment for cancer you take it once a day. Try to take it at the same time each day.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Pregnancy and contraception

This drug may harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.


Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drug may come through in your breast milk.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses, pharmacists or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.