How Long Does It Take For Celebrex To Take Effect?



Celebrex is a drug used to treat several conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and acute pain experienced by adults. Celecoxib is the active ingredient in the drug. It is categorized as a Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug or NSAID. In layman’s terms, Celebrex is simply a pain killer. 

However, Celebrex is quite different from other anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen. While both Celebrex and Aspirin work by inhibiting the prostaglandins that cause inflammation, Aspirin targets cyclo-oxygenase or COX-1 prostaglandins along with COX-2. COX-1 prostaglandins are necessary to maintain a healthy mucus lining of the stomach and Aspirin may sometimes damage this, leading to ulcers. Celebrex, on the other hand, targets only COX-2 prostaglandins, hence relieving pain and Inflammation without damaging the stomach’s mucus lining.


Celebrex is available in dosages ranging from 50 mg to 400 mg. The daily recommended dose for it is 200 mg; however, it is advised to take the lowest available dose due to its side effects. The maximum available dose for Celebrex is 400 mg.

In extremely rare and severe cases, 800 mg is also prescribed, although it is a onetime dose for pain due to dangerous internal bodily malfunctions. Celebrex may be taken without food, doctors advise taking it with food in case you are prescribed higher doses.

Effectiveness and factors affecting Celebrex

Celebrex is a very potent anti-inflammatory drug. It takes around 3 hours for the drug to start taking effect, yet this time is very subjective depending on the health of the patient and other factors. This is so because Celebrex caters to a wide age bracket of patients – from the age of 2 to adults. 

Some patients may notice the pain-relieving effects within a couple of hours, whereas some of them might not experience the effects of Celebrex for nearly a complete day. Some patients have even reported noticing the effects of Celebrex only after taking the medicine for more than a couple of days. 

Although this should not be a cause of worry as doctors themselves agree to the fact that the complete effects of Celebrex are noticeable only after taking the drug for more than 2 days. It must be noted that though the medicine stays in the body for a long period, its immediate effects do not last at a high intensity for long.

Celebrex has a half-life of around 11 to 12 hours. This means that around half of the drug’s composition starts to leave the body after the above-mentioned duration. But, this does not mean that its effectiveness is also reduced. The complete drug is wiped out of the system after 2 – 3 days. Until then, the drug continues with its task, and the patient experiences relief from pain and swelling. 

Some factors affect how quickly and how long the effects of Celebrex exist 

One such factor happens to be the age of the patient. A higher age corresponds to a slower metabolism and a slower metabolism results in slower absorption of any medication. If the drug is absorbed slowly, consequently, its effects will also be delayed. Hence, if you think you might not be noticing the effects of Celebrex as mentioned. It may be because of your age. 

The size of the dosage will also play a crucial role in the effects of the medicine. A larger dose will result in longer-lasting effects as compared to a smaller dose. However, you must not try to alter the dosage prescribed for longer-lasting effects as it will most likely harm you and may even increase the chances of side effects.

Food does not interfere with its functioning in any manner. However, it is advised taking higher doses of Celebrex, i.e. 400 mg with food, to prevent any damage or adverse effects on the kidneys and the GI Tract. Consumption of alcohol should also be taken into account when taking Celebrex as it impacts the efficiency of the drug.

The effects of the drug also depend upon whether you’re taking a generic version of Celebrex (often sold under the name Celecoxib) or a modified version. Although both drugs have the same active ingredient Celecoxib. It generally depends upon person to person when it comes to effectiveness. It has been observed among some patients that the generic version appears to be less effective and has a delayed effect as well. 

Side Effects

Just like any other medication, Celebrex also comes with its share of side effects. Milder and common side effects of the drug include stomach ache, nausea, dizziness, gas, and rashes. Although, it has some severe side effects too and a few of these are mentioned here:

  • Celebrex is found to be harsh on kidney function. As a result, people facing any kidney issues must make their doctor aware of it so that a different and safe treatment can be given.
  • Celebrex may increase your blood pressure. Patients with hypertension are hence, not usually prescribed Celebrex. Although, you must always bear in mind that your doctor knows about the side effects and he or she has prescribed you the medicine after weighing the pros and cons.
  • It’s may also negatively impact the liver and show jaundice-like symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and the eyes. In rare cases, Celebrex may cause a possibly fatal liver disease which could cause severe abdominal pain and urinary bleeding.

Side effects are inevitable when it comes to medications. However, you should always consult your doctor if any side effect causes you discomfort or you face any health issues that you haven’t experienced before.


As a person who is prescribed Celebrex for indicated medical conditions. You might want to consider all the above factors. One important factor, however, is that Celebrex is not a permanent cure to any of the conditions for which it is prescribed. Therefore, one should refrain from taking Celebrex for a long time. It is generally prescribed for shorter durations. The drug does not cure the ailment, it only allays the pain.