If you have certain inflammatory conditions, your doctor might suggest Celebrex as a treatment option. It’s a prescription drug used in adults to treat:
It’s also approved to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) in certain children.
Celebrex comes as a capsule you swallow and contains the active ingredient celecoxib.* It belongs to a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
This article describes the dosages of Celebrex, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Celebrex, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Celebrex’s usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when taking Celebrex, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
* An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
The recommended daily dosage of Celebrex for its different approved uses is described below.
What is the form of Celebrex?
Celebrex comes as a capsule that you swallow.
Celebrex strengths: 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg
Celebrex capsules come in four different strengths:
- 50 milligrams (mg)
- 100 mg
- 200 mg
- 400 mg
What are the usual dosages of Celebrex?
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dosage and adjust it over time to reach the right amount for you. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
Celebrex has recommended starting doses, but there isn’t a normal dose for everyone. The recommended maximum daily dose of the drug varies depending on the condition it’s being used to treat. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs. Talk with your doctor about the dosage of Celebrex that is right for you.
Dosage for short-term pain, such as from an injury or back pain
To treat short-term pain, such as back pain or pain from an injury, it’s recommended that adults take a first dose of 400 mg. If needed, a second dose of 200 mg can be taken. After that, the usual daily dose is 200 mg twice per day as needed.
Dosage for osteoarthritis
To treat osteoarthritis, the usual adult dosage of Celebrex is 200 mg per day. You’ll take this as a single 200-mg dose or as 100 mg twice per day.
Dosage for rheumatoid arthritis
To treat rheumatoid arthritis, the adult dosage of Celebrex is 100 mg to 200 mg twice per day.
Dosage for ankylosing spondylitis
To treat ankylosing spondylitis, the usual adult dosage is 200 mg per day. You’ll take this as a single 200-mg dose or as 100 mg twice per day. If you still have pain after 6 weeks, your doctor may increase your dosage to 400 mg per day. (You’ll take this as a single 400-mg dose or as 200 mg twice per day.) Or they may recommend a different treatment option for you.
Dosage for menstrual cramps
To treat menstrual cramps, it’s recommended that adults take a first dose of 400 mg. If needed, a second dose of 200 mg can be taken. After this, the usual daily dose is 200 mg twice per day as needed.
What’s the dosage of Celebrex for children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis?
To treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), the usual dosage of Celebrex in children ages 2 years and older is based on body weight.
The usual dosage for children weighing 10 to 25 kilograms (kg)* is 50 mg twice per day. The usual dosage for children weighing more than 25 kg is 100 mg twice per day.
* One kg equals about 2.2 pounds (lbs.).
Is Celebrex used long term?
Celebrex can be taken long or short term depending on the condition it’s being used to treat. For pain relief, it’s usually used short term. But for chronic conditions such as arthritis, you may take it long term.
It’s recommended that you take the lowest dose of Celebrex that’s safe and effective for you for the shortest time possible.
Your doctor may start you on a lower dosage of Celebrex if you have certain factors that make your body less able to break down the drug. These include:
- liver disease
- how well a certain protein in your liver can break down Celebrex
Before starting Celebrex, talk with your doctor about any liver problems you may have. They’ll also tell you whether you need a blood test to check the activity of a protein in your liver.
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Celebrex’s dosage.
What’s the maximum dosage of Celebrex I could be prescribed?
The maximum dose per day you could be prescribed depends on how your body responds to the drug and the condition you’re using Celebrex to treat.
For example, the recommended maximum dose for osteoarthritis is 200 milligrams (mg). This can be taken as a single 200-mg dose or as 100 mg twice per day. But the maximum dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 400 mg, which is taken as 200 mg twice per day.
To learn more about Celebrex’s recommended dosages, see the “What is Celebrex’s dosage?” section above.
Is Celebrex used for fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis? If so, what’s the dosage?
Celebrex is not approved to treat fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis, but your doctor may prescribe it off-label for these conditions. (Off-label is when a drug is used to treat a condition other than those it’s approved for.)
Celebrex is not approved to treat fibromyalgia. But a
Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Some NSAIDs are used to treat psoriatic arthritis, but Celebrex isn’t approved for this condition. To learn more about treatment options for psoriatic arthritis, talk with your doctor.
Talk with your doctor if you’d like more information about using Celebrex off-label for psoriatic arthritis or other treatment options for this condition.
* Celecoxib is the active ingredient in Celebrex.
Is there a certain dosage used in older adults taking Celebrex?
No, there’s not a particular Celebrex dosage for adults ages 65 years and older. But it’s recommended that older adults start the drug on the lower end of the usual dosage range. This is because they have a higher risk of side effects compared to younger people. Side effects may include serious heart, digestive, and kidney problems.
The dosage of Celebrex you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re using the drug to treat
- your age
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” just above)
- how you respond to your first dose of Celebrex
- how your body responds to the drug long term
Celebrex capsules are taken by mouth and can be taken with or without food. But you should avoid taking the drug with high fat meals.
Celebrex should not be crushed or chewed. If you have trouble swallowing capsules, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If needed, Celebrex capsules can be opened, and the contents sprinkled onto a teaspoon of cool or room temperature applesauce and swallowed immediately with water.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Celebrex, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Celebrex in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you miss your dose of Celebrex, take it as soon as possible. But if it’s close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Two doses should not be taken together to make up for a missed dose. This can result in serious side effects. If you’re unsure whether to take a missed dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Celebrex on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Do not take more Celebrex than your doctor prescribes, as this can lead to serious side effects. In rare but serious cases, these side effects can include:
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- lethargy (feeling sleepy and sluggish)
- belly pain
- intestinal or stomach bleeding
What to do in case you take too much Celebrex
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Celebrex. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Celebrex for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Celebrex without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Celebrex exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:
- If the maximum recommended dosage of Celebrex doesn’t work for me, will my dosage be increased?
- If I take other medications, will my dosage of Celebrex or the other drugs change?
- Why is the dosage different for different types of arthritis?
Disclaimer: Healthline 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.