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Valdecoxib

Why is this medication prescribed?

Valdecoxib is used to relieve the pain, tenderness, inflammation (swelling), and stiffness caused by arthritis and to treat painful menstrual periods. Valdecoxib is in a class of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) called COX-2 inhibitors. It works by stopping the body's production of a substance that causes pain and inflammation.

How should this medicine be used?

Valdecoxib comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once or twice a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take valdecoxib exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking valdecoxib,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to valdecoxib, aspirin, other NSAIDS, sulfa drugs, or any other medications.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril); anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); aspirin; diuretics ('water pills'); lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid); and oral steroids such as dexamethasone (Decadron, Dexone), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone (Deltasone). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had ulcers, stomach bleeding, kidney or liver disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, swelling of legs and ankles, asthma.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking valdecoxib, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking valdecoxib.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking valdecoxib. Alcohol may increase the risk of side effects from valdecoxib.
  • tell your doctor if you use tobacco products. Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of side effects from valdecoxib.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Valdecoxib may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • heartburn
  • back pain
  • headache

Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • black and tarry stools
  • red blood in stools
  • bloody vomit
  • vomiting material that looks like coffee grounds
  • unexplained weight gain
  • upset stomach
  • extreme tiredness
  • lack of energy
  • itching
  • pain in the right upper part of the stomach
  • flu-like symptoms
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • difficulty breathing

Valdecoxib may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to valdecoxib.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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