The People's Perspective on Medicine

Can You Get Celecoxib as Good as Celebrex?

Have you been looking for celecoxib as good as Celebrex? You may want to try the authorized generic to get the pain relief you want.

People who rely on pain relievers generally know whether their medication is working or not. We have heard many complaints from readers that their generic celecoxib does not work as well as brand name Celebrex to relieve the pain of arthritis. Here’s a story from one reader looking for a celecoxib as good as Celebrex.

Is Celecoxib as Good as Celebrex?

Q. I was taking brand-name Celebrex for my arthritis until my insurance company switched me to the generic drug. This is not worth the money I paid for it. My pain level increased dramatically, and I also started having problems with additional joints. What’s the gain in taking something that doesn’t work? I am unable to live a good quality of life without adequate pain relief!

A. We have heard from a great many readers who have complained about ineffective generic celecoxib. We have no way of determining which generic drug companies may be cutting corners with their quality control.

Try the Authorized Generic for Celecoxib as Good as Celebrex:

There is another option. One generic manufacturer has an agreement with Pfizer, the original maker of Celebrex. Greenstone distributes an authorized generic celecoxib that should work the same as the brand name.

One reader wrote:

“Generic celecoxib had no effect on my pain. When I started the generic from Greenstone, I got the same pain relief as from Celebrex.”

Learn More:

To learn more about authorized generics and how to use generic drugs wisely, you may wish to read our online resource, an eGuide to Saving Money on Medicines. If you are interested in other ways to manage arthritis pain, we suggest our eGuide to Alternatives for Arthritis.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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You can purchase Greenstone generic verison of Celebrex at Wellness Pharmacy 1477 Los Gatos Blvs. Los Gatos, CA 95032, 408 356-4848. Greenstone company is a a division of Pfizer which makes Celebrex.
I found that the big pharmacies bought their generic from other companies and the generic did not work as well, so I hooe this hopes everyone looking where to find it.

I went off Celebrex after many years and switched to Pfizer’s “Flector Patch”, which gave me twice the pain relief of Celebrex.

I am sorry to contradict Barbara in Orlando, but insurance companies do not generally cover name-brand drugs when a generic is available, even if the doctor says the name-brand drug is “medically necessary.” My GP has expressed frustration with this fact. As far as pharmacies ordering a different generic than the one they usually stock, many will indeed do this. I have had this done many times for me over the years. If a particular pharmacy’s distributor cannot get a specific generic, try another pharmacy. Generally, you will find one sooner or later who either stocks the generic you want or can order it for you. You might have to wait 2 to 3 days, but that is a minimal inconvenience to get the generic version of the drug that works best for you. Insurance companies do not care which generic version you receive. They tend to all run about the same price for each drug.

Has anyone had good luck with getting the mail order pharmacies (90 day supply) to fill the RX for generic Celebrex through Greenstone? Does the doctor have to order it through Greenstone or can the patient request it?

I took brand name Celebrex until the generic came out and my insurance company started covering only generic. The first generic prescription was from Greenstone, and it seemed to work as well as Celebrex. When I had the prescription refilled and started taking it, I noticed that it did not work as well for me. Per my doctor, I now specify that my generic is from Greenstone. Our CVS has to order it for me, but it is worth the day or two wait so that I can receive the generic by Greenstone.

After my insurance substituted generic Celecoxib for Celebrex, I immediately noticed an increase in my pain level. I even asked my doctor about it and he said a number of his patients had complained about the generic. Thank goodness I read about authorized generics in one of your columns. I began asking my pharmacist at CVS for the Greenstone generic and felt much better. I am fortunate that CVS is willing to order it for me if they do not have it. Walgreen’s said they didn’t have it and couldn’t get it for me. BTW, the generic version I was given was made by Lupin.

It’s Amy the ARNP again. Off the original topic, but I’d like to address a previous comment. The idea that the insurance companies will cover medication if it is written as “medically necessary” is good in theory, but not correct. Each insurance company has what is called a formulary of their approved medications. Most of the time they are generics. When a brand-name med is ordered often the insurance company will ask for what is called a prior authorization. I find that my patients think it’s a matter of me calling the pharmacy and it will get covered. It is an involved process of documentation showing that the patient has tried several different medications in the same category and “failed” (ie were not effective). This process takes time and I have gotten into the routine of managing my patient’s expectations for how long this takes and then there is no guarantee that the medication will be covered

I know for a fact that there is a difference between generic drug manufacturers. I was prescribed Mobic for plantar fasciitis in 2014. I picked up the generic Meloxicam manufactured by Lupin Pharmaceuticals. It worked well and helped me work my way through the problem. In 2017, I had back issues, and I was once again prescribed Meloxicam. This time it was manufactured by Zydus Pharmaceuticals. The first day I took it I felt a little odd for hours afterwards but dismissed it. The second day I took it I felt tightness in my chest and and a bit lightheaded. On the third day I felt like I could not get a deep breath, and there was a feeling of a terrible weight on my chest. I thought I was going to have or was having a heart attack. I called the pharmacy and the doctor. They told me to discontinue the medication. This I was one 15 mg pill daily!

If your physician orders the brand name drug, saying it is a necessity, the insurance should cover it.

Where do you get this Greenstone version? How do you know where the generic comes from when you get it from the local pharmacy?

ironically, I just got an Rx filled today. At the end of the 6-1/2 pages of “warnings” about side effects, is the information Celevcoxib is manufactured by Alembic Pharm in India for Alembic Pharmaceutials in NJ.

If you have a generic, the manufacturer is shown on the bottle, whether through mail order or the pharmacy. The problem, which I’ve never seen written up, is that it is nearly impossible to order a specific generic, say Mylan vs Greenstone. And a pharmacy may switch from one generic to another and although they may notify you, you can’t do much. I found the Mylan generic worked well but the Greenstone that was substituted, didn’t seem to work at all. And, about 40% are made abroad, included India and China, where the FDA has recently seemed to fine more firms than usual.

Unless you are on Medicare! I successfully took Celebrex for years. When I turned 65 Kaiser switched me over to generic, Medicare wii NOT cover Celebrex. It was a disaster. I now get my Celebrex from Canada. What’s wrong with this picture??

I have been taking generic Celebrex for several years that is manufactured by Greenstone . I have heard people say it doesn’t work for them, but it has been a real life saver for me. Perhaps other generic forms are not as good as Greenstone’s, but for me it makes life so much more liveable.

I purchase Greenstone generic from CVS in Athens, Ga. Your prescription bottle will have a provider name showing who the manufacturer is (tiny print). I have to specify at CVS that I want Greenstone, and they order it. It comes in the next work day.

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