Celebrex's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA

This drug has boxed warnings, the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boxed warnings alert doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Risk of serious gastrointestinal problems. Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Taking NSAIDs, including Celebrex, can increase your risk of serious gastrointestinal (digestive tract) problems. These include bleeding, ulcers, and holes in your digestive tract. Areas typically affected include your stomach, intestines, and esophagus (the tube connecting your throat to your stomach). In some cases, these problems can be fatal.

Digestive problems can happen any time while you’re taking Celebrex. However, you have a higher risk of these problems if you’re older than 65 years of age, or have had a stomach ulcer or bleeding in your stomach or intestines.

Risk of serious cardiovascular problems. Taking NSAIDs, including Celebrex, can increase your risk of serious cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack and stroke. Your risk is higher if you take a high dosage of Celebrex or take it over long periods of time. Having certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, also places you at a higher risk.

Due to this risk, your doctor may not prescribe Celebrex if you’re planning to have or you’ve recently had heart bypass surgery.

For more information about these boxed warnings, see the “Celebrex: Dosage considerations” section below.

Celebrex: Introduction

Celebrex is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug celecoxib. It belongs to the class of medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Celebrex is available in a generic form.

This medication has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It can be prescribed to adults with the following conditions:

Celebrex is also approved for use in children ages 2 years and older with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Celebrex is available as follows.

  • Form: oral capsule
  • Strengths: 50 milligrams (mg), 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg

In this article, you’ll find additional information about Celebrex’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Celebrex, view this article.

Dosage summary

For details about the drug’s dosage, see the “Celebrex: Dosage” section below. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Celebrex that’s right for your condition.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Celebrex, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Celebrex. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Celebrex that’s best for you.

Celebrex: Dosage

Commonly recommended dosages for Celebrex are shown below. You should take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll recommend the dosage that’s best for your condition.

Celebrex’s form and strengths

Celebrex comes as an oral capsule.

Celebrex capsules are available in the following strengths:

  • 50 milligrams (mg)
  • 100 mg
  • 200 mg
  • 400 mg

Typical recommended dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Celebrex at the start of treatment. Then, they’ll adjust the dosage over time if needed. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Celebrex that gives the desired effect.

Adult’s dosage

The table below shows recommended Celebrex dosages for adults.

ConditionStarting dosageMaintenance dosageMaximum dosage
osteoarthritis• 200 mg once daily, or
• 100 mg twice daily
• 200 mg once daily, or
• 100 mg twice daily
• 200 mg daily
rheumatoid arthritis• 100 mg twice daily• 100 mg to 200 mg twice daily• 200 mg twice daily
ankylosing spondylitis• 200 mg once daily, or
• 100 mg twice daily
• 200 mg to 400 mg daily• 400 mg daily
acute (short-term) pain, such as back pain• 400 mg as one dose, then 200 mg if needed on the first day• 200 mg twice daily as needed• 600 mg on the first day, then 200 mg twice daily as needed
pain with periods• 400 mg as one dose, then 200 mg if needed on the first day• 200 mg twice daily as needed• 600 mg on the first day, then 200 mg twice daily as needed

Children’s dosage

Celebrex is approved to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in children ages 2 years and older. For this condition, Celebrex’s dosage varies based on the child’s body weight.

Your child’s doctor will calculate their dosage based on body weight in kilograms (kg). One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lb).

The table below shows the recommended Celebrex dosage for children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Child’s body weightStarting dosageMaintenance dosageMaximum dosage
10 kg to 25 kg, which is about 22 lb to 55 lb• 50 mg twice daily• 50 mg twice daily• 50 mg twice daily
more than 25 kg, which is about 55 lb• 100 mg twice daily• 100 mg twice daily• 100 mg twice daily

Length of treatment

How long you’ll take Celebrex depends on the condition you’re treating.

Doctors typically don’t prescribe Celebrex as a long-term treatment for acute pain, such as back pain, or pain with periods. Instead, they usually prescribe it for a short time to relieve pain and inflammation.

For chronic (long-term) conditions, such as arthritis, your doctor may prescribe Celebrex as a long-term treatment. This may be the case if you and your doctor decide it’s a safe and effective drug for your condition.

Celebrex has boxed warnings for the risk of gastrointestinal (digestive tract) and cardiovascular problems. Boxed warnings are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (For more information, see the “FDA Warnings” section above). Due to these risks, the drug’s manufacturer recommends that doctors prescribe Celebrex:

  • at the lowest dosage that gives the desired effect, and
  • for the shortest length of time needed

Celebrex: Common questions about dosage

Below are some common questions related to Celebrex’s dosage.

What is a 200-mg Celebrex dosage used to treat?

The 200-mg Celebrex dosage is used to manage pain and inflammation for all of the conditions Celebrex is approved to treat in adults. These conditions include:

Depending on the condition you’re treating, you may take this dosage once or twice daily. Your doctor may also prescribe this total dosage divided into two 100-mg doses taken twice daily.

For more information about the drug’s dosage, see the “Celebrex: Dosage” section above.

Is there a recommended Celebrex dosage for older people?

There’s not a specific Celebrex dosage for older people. However, older adults have a higher risk of digestive tract, heart, and kidney problems with Celebrex than younger people. This includes people ages 65 years and older.

Because of this risk, the manufacturer of Celebrex recommends that older people take the lowest possible dosage when starting Celebrex.

If you have questions about taking this drug given your age, talk with your doctor.

What Celebrex dosage do doctors prescribe for fibromyalgia?

Celebrex isn’t approved to treat fibromyalgia. (Fibromyalgia is a condition that may cause muscle pain, problems with sleep, fatigue, and other symptoms.) Because of this, there’s no recommended dosage of Celebrex for this condition.

In one clinical study, celecoxib (the active drug in Celebrex) used in combination with the drug famciclovir was effective for treating fibromyalgia symptoms. However, the drug isn’t approved for this use. More studies are needed to know how safe and effective Celebrex may be for treating fibromyalgia symptoms.

If you have questions about medications for fibromyalgia, talk with your doctor. They can help you decide which medication is right for you.

Is there a ‘normal dose’ of Celebrex?

A “normal dosage” of Celebrex varies based on several factors, including:

  • the condition you’re taking Celebrex to treat
  • other medical conditions you have

If your doctor prescribes Celebrex for you, they’ll likely have you start taking a low dose. They may increase your dosage if the starting dosage doesn’t provide the desired effect. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the lowest dosage of Celebrex that fits your needs.

For more information about the drug’s dosage, see the “Celebrex: Dosage” section above.

Celebrex: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider the following factors when prescribing a dosage of Celebrex. These factors include:

  • your age
  • the condition you’re taking Celebrex to treat
  • the severity of your condition
  • your body weight, if you’re a child

Your prescribed dosage may also vary based on other medical conditions you have.

Recommended adjustments in dosage

Your doctor may reduce your Celebrex dosage if you have certain liver problems.

Additionally, Celebrex has boxed warnings for the risk of gastrointestinal (digestive tract) and cardiovascular problems. Boxed warnings are the most serious warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Due to these risks, doctors will likely prescribe the lowest Celebrex dosage that best manages your symptoms. They’ll also have you take this medication for the shortest length of time needed.

Celebrex: How to take

Celebrex comes as an oral capsule. You’ll take it by mouth.

Your doctor may have you take Celebrex once or twice daily. Take this medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it.

If it’s difficult for you or your child to swallow capsules whole, you can open Celebrex capsules and mix their contents with applesauce. After making this mixture, take it with water immediately.

You can also see this article for information on taking pills. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to see if they have other suggestions to help you take the medication.

ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS

If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels that contain a scannable code that your smartphone can convert into text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Celebrex in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Celebrex: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Celebrex, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Then, take your next dose at the regular time.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm, or download a reminder app on your phone.

Celebrex: Overdose

If you take more than the recommended dosage of Celebrex, serious effects can occur. Do not take more Celebrex than your doctor prescribes.

Symptoms of overdose

Symptoms that a Celebrex overdose could cause include:

  • tiredness
  • sleepiness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

Rarely, an overdose of Celebrex could cause these more serious symptoms:

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Celebrex: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to find out more information about Celebrex’s dosage. Keep in mind that the dosages presented in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Celebrex that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Celebrex dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Celebrex with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more:

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA
Last Review Date: 2022 Jul 5
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.