Does Celebrex have sulfa in it? 

Celebrex contains sulfonamide in its chemical structure, and therefore, its use is not recommended for patients who are known to have an allergy to “sulfa drugs.”

It is challenging to predict exactly how this group of patients will respond to the medication, but your doctor will likely assess the risks and benefits before prescribing Celebrex if you are allergic to sulfa drugs.

Does Celebrex have sulfa in it? 

Celebrex contains a sulfonamide substituent in its chemical structure (1).  

The presence of this sulfonamide component raises questions regarding its use in individuals  who have a known allergy to “sulfa drugs” (2). 

So, since Celebrex is a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), it is best to inform your doctor about your sulfa allergy to prevent a possible allergic reaction. 

What does research suggest about the use of Celebrex by individuals with a sulfa allergy?

There is limited research on the safety and efficacy of Celebrex in patients with sulfa allergies. 

A 2003 pilot study investigated the effects of Celebrex on patients allergic to Sulfonamides. It was observed that some people allergic to Sulfonamides successfully tolerated Celebrex and did not show signs of an allergic reaction (3).

However, it was a small study and it can not entirely eliminate the risk of Celebrex-induced allergic reactions in all the people allergic to “sulfa drugs”. 

Is it safe for you to use Celebrex if you have a sulfa allergy?

It is difficult to predict whether or not Celebrex will trigger an allergic reaction in people with a sulfa allergy or if it is safe enough. 

According to the literature, more research is needed to establish the safety of using this NSAID in individuals with such allergies (2,3).

In this way, your doctor will likely assess the risk-benefit of prescribing Celebrex for you if you have a sulfa allergy.

What are the alternatives to Celebrex if you have a sulfa allergy?

Depending on the clinical indication, there are other NSAID medications that can replace Celebrex, such as Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc. which do not contain Sulfonamide moiety in their chemical structures. 

Not all NSAIDs have the same clinical indications, and they may differ in their mechanism of action (4). 

Therefore, make sure to inform your doctor about your sulfa allergy, and he/she will consider the most appropriate treatment alternative for you.

What adverse effects may Celebrex cause?

Celebrex may be associated with the following adverse effects (5,6):

  • Gas or bloating
  • Sore throat
  • Cold symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Dysgeusia

Some side effects can be serious, such as:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the abdomen, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Itching
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Blisters
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, or hands
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Pale skin
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Cloudy, discolored, or bloody urine
  • Back pain
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Frequent urination, especially at night

Talk to your doctor if you experience any unusual or persistent problems while taking this medication.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking Celebrex and call your doctor: stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting a substance that is bloody or looks like coffee grounds, blood in the stool, or black and tarry stools (5).

Additionally, it’s important to know that NSAIDs, such as Celebrex, cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, as well as serious gastrointestinal adverse events, which can be fatal (6).


In this concise article, we have discussed whether Celebrex contains sulfa, as well as what research studies suggest about its use in individuals with a sulfa allergy, its safety profile for these patients, therapeutic alternatives to Celebrex, and common side effects associated with Celebrex. 

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 2662, Celecoxib; [cited 20223 Jul. 24]. Available from:


Shapiro LE, Knowles SR, Weber E, Neuman MG, Shear NH. Safety of celecoxib in individuals allergic to sulfonamide: a pilot study. Drug Saf. 2003;26(3):187-95.


Ghlichloo I, Gerriets V. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) [Updated 2023 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Available from:


CELEBREX® (celecoxib).  U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reference ID: 3517626 [Internet] [updated 2017 Jun; cited 2023 Jul 24]. Available from:


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