BACKGROUND: For laparoscopic cholecystectomy, pain is most frequent complaint and the most common cause of delayed discharge. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of preoperative administration of celecoxib on the level of postoperative pain in patient undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy. METHODS: We enrolled 60 patients ASA class I and II, scheduled for elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The patients were randomized to receive celecoxib 200 mg, celecoxib 400 mg or placebo two hour before the induction of anesthesia. The patients received the same anesthetics. The intensities of abdominal pain were assessed using VAS (visual analog scale) at 1, 2, 4, 12, 24 hours after surgery. RESULTS: In celecoxib 200 mg group, VAS score of somatic pain compared to control group decreased at 1, 2, and 4 hours after surgery. In celecoxib 400 mg group, VAS score of somatic pain compared to control group decreased at 1, 2, and 4 hours after surgery. There was no difference between celecoxib 200 mg and celecoxib 400 mg in pain scores of somatic pain. Dosage of meperidine in two celecoxib groups after surgery were each 31 mg and 26 mg and that of control group was 72 mg. There was no difference between celecoxib groups and placebo group in pain scores of visceral pain. CONCLUSIONS: The preoperative administration of celecoxib reduces the level of postoperative pain after laparoscopic cholecystectomy without adverse effects.