Runner holding sore leg knee pain from running or exercising jogging injury or cramp

Q. My doctor prescribed Celebrex several years ago to help ease the arthritis pain in my knee. Three days ago my pharmacy substituted with generic celecoxib.

I was pleased with the savings, but my pain has grown worse daily. Have other people found that generic celecoxib is not as effective as Celebrex?

A. The FDA approved generic celecoxib in May, 2014, so it has been available for less than a year. Although we get complaints about other generic drugs, we’ve not heard from readers regarding generic Celebrex. If we hear from others who have been disappointed with celecoxib, we will let you know.

Others who have experience with this generic medication are invited to share their thoughts below.

Searching for Pain Relief

Celecoxib is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, in the same category as ibuprofen). Like other drugs in this class, it can increase the risk of cardiovascular complications, such as high blood pressure or even a heart attack. Some people would prefer to try nondrug approaches to controlling their arthritis pain. We discuss a number of strategies in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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  1. Rhonda

    I have been on Celebrex for a long time. When we tried to get me off of it, my pain would not allow this. Now I have switched to Celocoxib, and my pain is returning. It is unbearable for me. I am requesting to go back on Celebrex.

  2. Michael

    I received the new Teva Generic for Celecoxoxib and I have stopped taking them immediately. I have had my pharmacy switch me back to the Mylan. Based on this thread I urge you to report back to your pharmacy to swap out the Teva Generic (Pill ID 1442/Yellow) for the Mylan (Pill ID 7150/ Blue)

  3. Ann

    My husband has been on one 200 mg Celebrex for 30 years. Due to all of his broken bones, etc. he had severe osteoarthritis until he finally found Celebrex. When he was switched to generic all of his pain came back. We called the pharmacy and complained with every manufacturer of the generic medicine that they sent us. We received the same information that every generic used identical materials as the “real” celebrex. Then the pharmacy sent us the Greenstone generic. It works. It works. It works. However, you must insist on Greenstone. They will try to send you other manufacturers. They don’t work. We have tried all of those other generic manufacturers. The pharmacy and the insurance companies will do anything to not give you Greenstone generic Celebrex. Did I say Greenstone generic works. It works.

    My husband can sleep, do just about everything he used to do and isn’t as grumpy as when he was on the fake generic Celebrex. Thank you Greenstone.

  4. Linda

    I just realized that since my Celebrex was changed to generic Celecoxib my pain and discomfort has increased back to the way it was before Celebrex. Thank you all for confirming my suspicions.

  5. Michelle
    New Orleans, Louisiana

    I’ve been taking celebrex for about 15 years off and on for shoulder injuries. I read the comments and hate that folks feel the generic form doesn’t work for them. I can only say that I can’t tell a difference since the VA in New Orleans gave me the generic version. I do have to take a break from it occasionally because all Nsaids mess with your stomach.

  6. Kat

    I tookCelebrex 200mg capsules for several years with good results. With my current medication plan I can only get generic celoxicib. My hand and spine are much worse since the change and I have to use Pain relievers 3 times daily.

    • Diane
      Ontario, Canada

      I took generic Celecoxib for almost 3 weeks – Dr. took me off it today. Pain in hips and back got worse instead of better – couldn’t sleep and can hardly walk now. The Tylenol I took today worked much better already.

  7. Dee

    My Pharmacy substituted my Celebrex for Celecoxib. Almost immediately my joints began swelling and becoming painful. I am now back on my Celbrex and almost immediately my Arthritis symptoms lessened.

  8. Mike

    I have been forced on Celecoxib for several months. It does not even come close to Celebrex for arthritis pain relief. Pain and suffering is now a part of every day. My doctor can not do anything about it and the insurance company wants to move me further down the line to an even lesser medicine. I had been on Celebrex for years with good results and no side effects. Is there anywhere that I can buy this with out a prescription for a reasonable price?

    • Millyan
      Reply for saving card but you still need prescription from your doctor as refill. good luck!

  9. karen
    yorktown, virginia

    I didn’t think twice about it when the pharmacy dispensed the generic Celebrex 2 weeks ago. Within 1 week, I had joint pain but thought I was just sleeping wrong. It wasn’t until the second week that I realized something was terribly wrong. I went to the web to see if others were having issues with the generic form of Celebrex and found this site.

    Having been on Celebrex for over 3 years, I didn’t remember how much joint pain I had been experiencing. This was a shock! I’ve asked for the brand name prescription from my doctor – hoping the sticker shock won’t be too much.

  10. Bob

    I was taking Celebrex for several years and it controlled my pain very well. I was switched to Celecoxib a few months ago and now have pain both day and night.

  11. Barb
    homer glen,IL

    My husband has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Chronic pain. He tried celecoxib and it did NOTHING. Ended throwing the celecoxib out. Back on Celebrex. We also have a Phizer Celebrex discount card where you can pay as little as $4 for 30. You can find it on-line. I have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and my doctor prescribed Celebrex. I am under my husband’s insurance and they refused my prescription and need a doctor authorization for the Celebrex. Ridiculous! The doctor is the one who prescribed it to me. What good is a cheaper generic version that doesn’t work.

    • Aline
      Scoudouc nb

      For me celecoxib did not work as well as Celebrex. After changing to celecoxib, I find is very hard on my stomach and makes me sick. And my pain is back. The Celebrex agrees with my stomach and I don’t have to eat food with it and my pain is controlled.

  12. Robert
    Macomb MI

    I have been taking Celebrex for many years because of back pain from arthritis. It has worked very well. My insurance company will no longer pay for it. I have now been taking Celecoxib and am experiencing consistent discomfort and pain to the extent of having shots in my back to relieve the pain. I tried Celebrex again and had immediate results. The pain is almost non exsistent. It only hurts in the pocketbook because of the high cost of Celebrex.

  13. Lin3a

    I am 77 and have taken Celebrex for about 10 years to alleviate arthritis pain in my knees, hips, spine, shoulders and thumb joints. Recently the new company that I have to go through to get my meds has refused to give me Celebrex and has substituted Celecoxib (generic form of Celebrex). As the Celebrex left my system, over about three weeks, I had increasing swelling and pain in the aforementioned joints. FOR ME, THE GENERIC DOES NOT WORK. The company I now call BAD PHARMA is continuing to jerk me and my doctor around saying they have not received the correct forms although my doctor did send them in a timely fashion. I feel like I’m 90. Considering trying to get it at a reasonable price in Mexico.

  14. Mike

    it does not come close to Celebrex. I was changed to Celecoxib and I hurt in places that never bothered me before.

  15. Mary Ann
    Elizabeth, NJ

    I have had arthritis for many years and had found some relief with Celebrex; there are no Plan D insurers who cover this brand named drug reasonably. I have tried the generic celecoxib on two different occasions for months at a time but have found it to be useless for me.

  16. Felicia

    I too have recently been taking the generic Celecoxib for an old injury which occasionally flares up and noticed no improvement in my pain. Celebrex is so much better – The NHS have obviously taken a decision to reduce costs to our detriment .

  17. Dana and Gladys


    My mother has made the same claims about the increase pain with generic Celecoxib. We are not in the position to pay the high cost associated with Celebrex but it does not seem fair that a person in this country can work for 50 years, pay taxes, pay the high cost of insurance and can not afford the means that would allow them to do little things around the house such as…… water plants or take a walk to the mail box. Something must be done! I have read hundreds of claims stating that this medication is supposed to be same and based on the complaints, it does not take a rocket scientist to prove that they are not the same (PEOPLE ARE HURTING)! The many doctors we have visited claim that these drugs are the same, however I wonder if they have tried it themselves? Can someone please lead us in the right direction? PLEASE!

    Dana and Mom Gladys

    • Millyan
      Reply for saving card but you still need prescription from your doctor as refill. good luck

  18. Pamela
    Chapel Hill, NC

    I have Osteoarthritis and having been taking Celebrex 100MG, one capsule, twice a day for eight years.

    Recently, my insurance company will no longer cover Celebrex name brand and will only pay for Celecoxib.

    I have been having inordinate pain in my joints, since the switch from brand to generic. It has been so bad that last week I spent three days in bed.
    This is a problem because I cannot afford to pay the $349.32 a month for 60 100MG capsules Celebrex.

    Celecoxib 100MG, 60 capsules cost $34.28 a month BUT DOES NOT RELIEVE MY PAIN FROM MY OSTEOARTHRITIS.
    Do you have any suggestions.
    April 18, 2017

    • Millyan
      Reply for saving card but you still need prescription from your doctor as refill. good luck

  19. Lynn

    Several years ago, I purchased Celecoxib thru Canada….I felt it did not work and then ordered Celebrex. I was getting ready to order again and I am happy to see that other people feel that the generic brand does NOT work. I will have to pay more, but Celebrex is worth every single penny…oops..every single dollar.

  20. Mike

    I also feel celecoxib is not as effective. I was very happy with celebrex.

  21. sharon p

    I expected the generic celebre to work the same, but it said it would take two weeks to kick in. I suffered for two week, woke up with heel pain that was excruciating. Suffered another week with that as well and continued to get worse. It was as if I was taking absolutely nothing! I wondered if it actually caused my heel pain.

    I want back on my old anti inflammatory, since my ins. will not cover Celebrex. The celecoxib had a huge co pay and was a total waste of money. I still have the heel pain, and the Dr says it is not plantar fasciitis and thought I had injured it.

  22. Dawn

    I, too, have tried the generic two different times over the last three years. My first try was made by Mylan and the second was by Apotetex. Neither worked for me as the Brand Celebrex does. Within 24 hr. I noticed the difference and by 48 hrs. I was back on the name brand. This year my drug plan will only pay for the generic and I will have to pay the other 350.00 monthly after using the Brand discount card for & 125.00 which can be downloaded and printed out on line.

    I am also checking into purchasing from Canada, which has quoted me less than $100.00 for the Brand 200mgs 60 capsules a month. The generic makers are way off on this one because it does not work! I will stay with the Brand Celebrex where I am pain free.
    I wrote to the FDA over a year ago and never heard back from them.
    Very frustrating.

    • Mary Kay
      Ocala, FL

      I have used a Canadian pharmacy one time, almost 4 years ago. The medication came from China, thru Canada. The company robo calls me all the time from many different phone numbers including ones that have my area code. I would not recommend a Canadian pharmacy purchase unless you are will to endure the phone calls.

  23. Gloria
    New York

    I also found relief with Celebrex and not so much on generic Celecoxib by Mylan. Are there some generic by other companies that are better?

    • Rodney S

      I tried generic Nexium. Ineffective. Made me nauseous.

  24. Marilyn
    North Carolina

    When I take generic Celexobib, it is as if I am taking nothing. I pay for Celebrex non-generic rather than suffer. The difference was noticeable on day two. Celexobib is useless for me.

  25. Anke

    My mother has received the generic version of Celebrex for the first time and has found that it is not helping as well with her arthritis pain. The pain increases every day and also the swelling around her joints is worse.

    After searching the web, we saw that another reader is having the same issues. Have more people complained about the difference between generic and brand name with Celebrex? Are the 2 medications made with different ingredients? We had problems in the past with other generic medications and are wondering if this is happening again. Please let us know what other readers are saying. Thank you.

  26. Jerry

    I pay extra to stay on Celebrex. I think it is better and used to believe it eliminated most of my Arthritis pain. After being switched to the generic and now back to Celebrex, I’m not sure. When there is a 20% difference, I don’t see how it could ever be the same thing.

  27. Linda
    Concord ca

    I have been taking Celebrex for many years and thought that maybe I was becoming resistant to its effects. Due to insurance I was switched to generic, which in most cases is not a problem. I recently discovered I still had a few Celebrex left and did in fact get relief again. I am convinced the generic version is worthless.

  28. Henk
    the Netherlands

    I had Celebrex and was very pleased with the results easing the pain for longer time in my right hip. When needing new pils they gave me Celecoxoxib. The effect was not good, it didn’t work as good as Celebrex, so I startet using Celebrex again with a much better result.

  29. Cindy
    Buffalo NY

    My doctor put me on Celebrex for hip and knee pain. I’ve been on it for 3 1/2 weeks and not much relief from the pain. I think I was doing better on Alieve. But for the last week I’ve had such horrible stomach pain and nausea. The stomach pain is worse then my hip pain. I’m not taking it anymore.

  30. Kris

    I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and tendonitis (in both shoulders, elbows and knees). I have had steroid injections done in both shoulders and elbows (short term relief), and I have been taking ibuprofen (amongst multiple other pain/nerve meds). I informed my PCP that I was still having pain, stiffness, swelling in all these joints. Once again, tendonitis! He told me to stop taking ibuprofen, prescribed me Celebrex (I have never taken this). I ended up getting Celecoxib, I have had a sour stomach (bowel issues). It has been 4 days…I don’t feel better, and the expense versus ibuprofen…and the extra toilet paper, ridiculous.

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