Celebrex has a long history of success for people with menstrual cramps, arthritis, and certain other inflammatory conditions. For these patients, it can be a key to a more comfortable daily life.

However, it does have risks like any medication. One of the most important precautions you should take is to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Celebrex.

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If you're planning on having a #GlassOfWine while taking #Celebrex, you need to be aware of the possible #DrugInteractions and #AdverseSideEffects. Here's what you need to know about Celebrex and #alcohol. #FDAWarning #HealthRisk… Click To Tweet

Here’s what you need to know about Celebrex and alcohol:

Risks of Combining Celebrex and Alcohol

As many benefits as Celebrex may have, combining it with alcohol could lead to serious side effects. Here are the potential problems you should know about:

Ulcers and Gastrointestinal Bleeding

As an NSAID, Celebrex blocks your body’s ability to produce COX-2 an enzyme that triggers inflammation. This is why it helps with inflammatory conditions like arthritis and menstrual cramps.

However, NSAIDs can sometimes hinder your production of COX-1, an enzyme that protects your stomach against its natural acids. While Celebrex doesn’t appear to have this problem to the same degree as other NSAIDS, it’s still a risk.

The issue is that alcohol irritates your stomach lining. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to an ulcer for even someone who isn’t taking Celebrex. Because Celebrex and other NSAIDs can impair your stomach’s defenses against the alcohol’s effects, they raise your risk for ulcers and bleeding.

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Symptoms of Ulcers or Gastrointestinal Bleeding

While anyone can get an ulcer, Celebrex increases your risk, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol. The following symptoms could signal an ulcer or gastrointestinal bleeding:

  • Bloating
  • Bloody or dark stools
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • A dull pain in your stomach
  • Vomit that has blood or the texture of coffee grounds

Any of these symptoms could signal an ulcer and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

What to Do if You Think You Have an Ulcer or Gastrointestinal Bleeding

If you suspect that you have gastrointestinal bleeding or an ulcer, you should seek immediate medical treatment. The blood loss can cause serious health problems and could even be fatal if they aren’t treated in time.

When you speak to a doctor about your symptoms, be sure to tell them you’re taking Celebrex. Tell them about any other medications you’re taking. If you’ve been drinking alcohol while on Celebrex, be honest with your doctor. It isn’t worth risking your health to spare yourself some embarrassment.

Liver Damage or a Celebrex Overdose

Your liver processes and metabolizes many of the substances you take in. This includes both Celebrex and alcohol. Many people already know that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage. However, if you’re taking Celebrex, there’s another set of problems that could arise.

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Your liver may not be able to handle the alcohol and the Celebrex at the same time. If your liver is busy processing the alcohol, the Celebrex could back up in your system rather than clearing in the expected amount of time.

If your liver isn’t able to process the Celebrex properly, you could suffer from an overdose. Liver damage can also result from trying to use alcohol and take Celebrex at the same time.

Symptoms of a Celebrex Overdose

A Celebrex overdose can be a serious problem. You may be experiencing an overdose if you have the following symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as bloody or dark stool or bloody vomit

If a Celebrex overdose becomes severe, it can result in high blood pressure, kidney failure, and even a coma.

What to Do if You Think You’re Experiencing a Celebrex Overdose

If you are having a Celebrex overdose, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. Keep in mind that the symptoms can continue to worsen, so call 911 instead of trying to drive yourself to a hospital.

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Symptoms of Liver Damage

Your liver serves a vital function within your body. You may have liver damage caused by a mixture of Celebrex and alcohol if you have the following symptoms:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Very dark urine
  • Stool that is pale, bloody, or dark
  • Swelling in your lower extremities
  • Pain and swelling in your abdomen
  • Nausea, vomiting, or lack of appetite
  • A yellow tint to your skin and/or eyes

Liver damage can become severe, especially if you continue using the medication and/or alcohol that caused it.

What to Do if You Think You Have Liver Damage

If you believe you may have liver damage, schedule an appointment with a doctor. They can run tests to determine your liver function and determine if your liver is healthy.

Cardiovascular Problems

As much as Celebrex can help patients with arthritis and certain other inflammatory conditions, it increases your risk for cardiovascular problems. Specifically, Celebrex can put you at a greater risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Alcohol also increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. While one of these risk factors can be manageable, two may be more than your cardiovascular system can handle.

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Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease

Both heart attacks and strokes are emergency medical situations. The symptoms of a heart attack may include:

  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Pressure, pain, or a squeezing sensation in the chest
  • Discomfort that extends to the left arm, shoulder, jaw, back, neck, or stomach

A stroke tends to have the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness in one arm
  • Severe and unusual headache
  • Confusion and/or memory loss
  • Loss of balance and coordination
  • Slurred or incomprehensible speech
  • Sudden impaired vision in one or both eyes
  • Numbness or inability to move one side of the face

Any of the symptoms above could be a serious warning sign.

What to Do if You Think You’re Having a Heart Attack or a Stroke

Heart attacks and strokes both have the ability to do serious damage or to be fatal. If you suspect either of these conditions, call 911 for immediate medical attention.

Using Celebrex Safely

Just like any other medication, Celebrex needs to be used with caution and under a doctor’s guidance. Avoiding alcohol is one of the most important ways to protect your health while taking Celebrex.

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For more information about drug interactions like Celebrex and alcohol, read more on our medication safety blog.