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Drugs. 2000 Apr;59(4):957-80.

Celecoxib: a review of its use in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and acute pain.

Author information

  • 1Adis International Limited, Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.

Erratum in

  • Drugs 2001;61(4):498.


Celecoxib is a cyclo-oxygenase (COX) inhibitor that exhibits relative in vitro and ex vivo selectivity for COX-2 over COX-1. Results of randomised double-blind multicentre studies indicate that celecoxib is superior to placebo and has similar efficacy as conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in improving the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Analgesic efficacy and improvements in functional status are apparent within 2 weeks of starting therapy and are maintained throughout treatment. Available data suggest that celecoxib has analgesic efficacy in patients with postsurgical dental pain, although this is yet to be confirmed. In patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, celecoxib 100 and 200 mg and naproxen 500 mg twice daily were similarly efficacious and superior to placebo. Once and twice daily celecoxib dosage regimens provided comparable efficacy. Improvements in physical function paralleled those in pain relief. Celecoxib also has efficacy in treating the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the hip. The effects of celecoxib were not diminished in elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. All dosages of celecoxib (100 to 400 mg twice daily) and naproxen 500 mg twice daily produced significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. In patients with stable rheumatoid arthritis, celecoxib 200 mg twice daily showed sustained symptomatic improvements similar to those of twice daily slow-release diclofenac 75 mg over a 24-week period. Celecoxib was well tolerated in clinical trials. Upper gastrointestinal complications occurred in significantly fewer patients treated with twice daily celecoxib 25 to 400 mg than in those receiving comparator NSAIDs. There was no evidence of a dose relationship in endoscopic ulcer development and incidences in celecoxib and placebo recipients were lower than in those receiving twice daily naproxen 500 mg or ibuprofen 800 mg 3 times daily.


Celecoxib is the first COX-2 specific inhibitor approved for use in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Celecoxib produces significant improvements in pain and inflammation and these effects are maintained during treatment for up 24 weeks in clinical trials. Studies indicate that celecoxib has similar efficacy to conventional NSAIDs in relieving pain and improving functional status, but is associated with a lower incidence of upper gastrointestinal ulceration and complications. This promising gastrointestinal safety profile, together with sustained symptomatic relief, places celecoxib as a useful alternative for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, particularly in patients at high risk of developing gastrointestinal events. Although data are encouraging, its place in acute pain states remains to be established.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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