Generic Celebrex leaves some patients in pain

Q. I have been using Celebrex for osteoarthritis, and it has worked well for me for many years. The pharmacy substituted generic celecoxib. After only four days, I am in a lot of pain, especially in my spine. I would gladly pay for the real thing.

A. You are not the only one to complain about celecoxib. Dozens of people have written to us saying that the generic does not provide the same pain relief as brand-name Celebrex.

You might be able to get some assistance from your physician, as this couple did:

“My husband had been on Celebrex for almost 20 years. When the pharmacy switched to generic, I did not realize it at first.
“My husband’s hand swelled so much that a couple of his fingers tripled in size. (We took pictures to show the doctor.) He also had a lot of problems with knee-joint pain flaring up, as well as stomach ache.

“When I realized he was on the generic, we asked his doctor to write a new prescription with no substitutions.

He wrote a letter to our insurance company saying my husband was allergic to something in the generic, so now the insurance pays for the prescription.”

You can read about other people’s experience with celecoxib at Readers can report problems with generic drugs to the Food and Drug Administration through MedWatch (

This article from can no longer be found on that website, which I think is rather odd.

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