The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of Celebrex (celecoxib) capsules, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, short-term (acute) pain, and other conditions.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries received approval to market celecoxib capsules in 50 milligram, 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg strengths, and has 180-day exclusivity on the 100 mg, 200 mg, and 400 mg strength products. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. received approval to market 50 mg celecoxib capsules.
"It is important for patients to have access to affordable treatment options for chronic conditions," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Health care professionals and patients can be assured that these FDA-approved generic drugs have met our rigorous approval standards."
Celecoxib is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID). All NSAIDs have a Boxed Warning in their prescribing information (label) to alert health care professionals and patients about the risk of heart attack or stroke that can lead to death. This chance increases for people with heart disease or risk factors for it, such as high blood pressure, or taking NSAIDs for long periods of time. The Boxed Warning also highlights the risk of serious, potential life-threatening gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding that has been associated with use of NSAIDs.
In the clinical trials for Celebrex, the most commonly reported adverse reactions in patients taking the drug for arthritis were abdominal pain, diarrhea, indigestion (dyspepsia), flatulence, swelling of the feet or legs (peripheral edema), accidental injury, dizziness, inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis), runny nose (rhinitis), swollen nasal passages, (sinusitis), upper respiratory tract infection, and rash.
Generic prescription drugs approved by the FDA have the same high quality and strength as brand-name drugs. Generic drug manufacturing and packaging sites must pass the same quality standards as those of brand-name drugs.
Information about the availability of generic celecoxib can be obtained from the companies.