The History of Celebrex


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Table of Contents


I. What is Celebrex?

II. Types of Arthritis

III. Who Developed Celebrex?

IV. Usage of Celebrex


What is Celebrex?

Arthritis occurs for different reasons, so it is important to receive a proper diagnosis so you can find the right treatment. Celebrex (celecoxib) is one common medication used to relieve the symptoms of this joint disease. Celebrex is used in the treatment of juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

Celebrex does not cure arthritis, but it can control symptoms as long as you take it as prescribed. This drug belongs to a class of drugs called Coxibs. These drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). This enzyme is important in the production of prostaglandin, which is a mediator for pain and inflammation.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition in the United States that affects over 54 million people. This staggering number makes up 23 percent of all adults. Arthritis is more than a few body aches. It is a chronic disease that results in severe joint pain. Some common types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis: the most common form of degenerative arthritis. Cartilage in the joints break down and cause the bones to rub together and cause inflammation. This can lead to pain, bone injury, and bone spur formation. Osteoarthritis can occur in one or two joints or one side of the body. Symptoms include:

  • Morning stiffness
  • Increasing disability
  • Joint soreness
  • Lack of coordination

a person resting their elbows on their knees

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy joint tissue. Around 1.5 million people in the United States have this condition. It can occur on one joint or joints on both sides of the body. Joint deformities may occur over time. Symptoms include:

  • Sleep difficulties
  • Nodules under the skin and near joints
  • Numbness, burning and tingling in the hands and feet

Juvenile arthritis (JA): an umbrella term that encompasses several types of arthritis that may affect children. JA occurs in children younger than 16 years old. It can lead to bone erosion, joint misalignment, tightening of soft tissue, and a change in growth patterns. It may also cause:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Aching joints

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS): an autoimmune condition that attacks the tendons and ligaments attached to the bone. The spine is affected most commonly, but AS can affect other joints. This condition is often hereditary and is more common in men. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the affected area.

Who Developed Celebrex?

G.D. Searle & Company developed Celebrex in the 1990s. This company operates under Monsanto and Pfizer. G.D. Searle & Company was incorporated in 1908 and has operated as a pharmaceutical company out of Illinois. This Illinois-based company is known for the development of the female birth control pill and Nutrasweet (an artificial sweetener). By the 1980s, Searle had the second-highest profit margin among 30 leading drug firms in the United States.

In 1985, Searle merged with Monsanto and operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary. In 1999, Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. merged with Monsanto and Searle, signaling Searle's likely end as an operating entity. The creation of Celebrex came about during this time. In 1998, Celebrex received approval for use in the treatment of juvenile arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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It was launched in the United States in 1999 and became the most successful pharmaceutical launch in U.S. history at the time. Celebrex had 19 million prescriptions written in the first year, and sales exceeded $1.4 billion. Over time, its use has also been approved for ankylosing spondylosis in 2005 and rheumatoid arthritis in 2006. 

Usage of Celebrex

Celebrex (celecoxib) is commonly used as an arthritis drug because it is less likely to cause stomach upset and ulcers than other pain-relieving medications. Stomach problems may occur while taking Celebrex if you drink alcoholic beverages regularly. 

This drug is typically taken twice a day, but your doctor will tell you how many pills to take and how often. It is essential to take these drugs at the same time every day. When taking this drug, let your doctor know if you are taking other medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements. Taking natural supplements is typically safe, but the dosages are often unregulated, and too many supplements may interact with your arthritis treatment. Talk to your doctor today if you want to try Celebrex to treat your arthritis condition.

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