Celebrex is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called a COX-2 inhibitor. Celebrex is used to treat pain associated with injury or other causes of long-term inflammation, some of which include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Celebrex works by reducing the production of certain chemicals and enzymes in the body that cause inflammation and pain. In many cases, the treatment of pain and inflammation is essential so that sufferers can perform their daily tasks.

COX-2 inhibitors are a new class of NSAIDs. In the past, patients who took traditional NSAIDs over a period of time had the risk of multiple side effects, including stomach irritation, ulcers, and intestinal bleeding. COX-2 inhibitors alleviate the pain and swelling associated with inflammation while simultaneously causing fewer stomach and intestinal side effects.

All prescription NSAIDs, such as Celebrex, carry a warning about the potential risk of cardiovascular problems, life-threatening stomach bleeding and a rare allergic skin disorder developing in patients.

Researchers are examining the effect of the dosage levels for COX-2 inhibitors. Evidence suggests the greater the dose, the greater the risk of cardiovascular side effects in users. Studies recommend that doctors prescribe low doses for brief periods in order to reduce potential occurrences of these serious side effects.

Celebrex Side Effects

There is no question that the side effects of Celebrex can be serious, even life threatening. One of which is the development of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a debilitating inflammatory disorder of the skin. Although a somewhat rare condition, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is extremely serious, causing widespread skin rash development that can rapidly progress to blisters and lesions resembling second-degree burns across the body. The reaction spreads throughout the body via the skin and/or mucous membranes. The key to symptom management is recognition of the medication causing the reaction and ceasing its use. Celebrex is one of a number of notable prescription drugs that have recently been linked with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

Cardiovascular side effects, including increased risk of heart attack or stroke, have also been linked to COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex. These cardiovascular side effects are thought to result from a chemical imbalance created by COX-2 inhibitors. Naturally, the levels of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes in the body are in balance. However, Celebrex blocks the production of the COX-2 enzymes while leaving COX-1 un- or only minimally affected. This process can cause unexpected reactions within the body. The COX-1 enzymes produce platelets that encourage blood clotting and tighten the arteries. Normally, this effect is kept in check by another chemical called prostacyclin. To produce prostacyclin, COX-1 enzymes work in concert with COX-2 enzymes. By blocking the COX-2 enzymes, the balance between the COX enzymes is disrupted. As the levels of prostacyclin fall, the influence of COX-1 goes unchecked, and the risk of blood clots forming increases. Blood clots in the arteries can increase the chance of having a heart attack or stroke.

COX Enzymes

All pain relievers block the action of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase or COX. This enzyme is responsible for triggering changes in the body in response to injury or inflammation. By blocking the COX enzyme, the body reduces the production of a substance called prostaglandins (a chemical that signals an injury and triggers pain). Less prostaglandin equals less swelling and pain.

There are two forms of the COX enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2. The COX enzymes are key component of the body’s maintenance system. COX-1 enzymes are found in many parts of the body, including the stomach. It protects the stomach from tissue-damaging acids. COX-2 is important in the maintenance of the cardiovascular system. Both enzymes promote inflammation and pain.

Legal Action

Drug manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of their products before marketing them for public consumption. Failure to do so is considered negligent and grounds for pharmaceutical litigation. The Pensacola personal injury attorneys of Aylstock, Witkin Kreis & Overholtz handle national litigation across the United States for victims injured by defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They have successfully represented and obtained substantial compensation for a number of patients who have been harmed by drugs. Contact AWKO law today at (844) 794-7402 to get more information about your rights as a Celebrex injury victim.