Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
What Is Colchicine?
Colchicine (Brand: Colcrys) is an alkaloid used to prevent or treat gout attacks (flares), and is also used to prevent attacks of pain in the abdomen, chest, or joints caused by a certain inherited disease (familial Mediterranean fever).
What Are Side Effects of Colchicine?
Common side effects of Colchicine include:
- abdominal pain, and
Contact your doctor if you experience rare but serious side effects of colchicine including:
- unusual bleeding/bruising,
- severe diarrhea or vomiting,
- muscle weakness or pain,
- numbness/tingling in your fingers or toes,
- pale or gray color of the lips/tongue/palms of hands,
- signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat),
- unusual weakness or tiredness,
- fast heartbeat,
- shortness of breath, or
- changes in the amount of urine.
Dosage for Colchicine
To treat acute gouty arthritis the usual dose of colchicine to relieve or abort an attack is 1 to 1.2 mg (two 0.5 mg granules or two 0.6 mg tablets). This dose may be followed by one unit of either preparation (granule or tablet) every hour, or two units every two hours, until pain is relieved or until diarrhea ensues.
What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Colchicine?
Colchicine may interact with azole antifungals, cyclosporine, HIV medications, antibiotics, telithromycin, verapamil, atorvastatin, digoxin, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, pravastatin, or simvastatin. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.
Colchicine During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
During pregnancy, colchicine should be used only when prescribed. This medication passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Our Colchicine (Brand: Colcrys) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Stop taking this medication and get medical help right away if any of these very serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding/bruising, severe diarrhea or vomiting, muscle weakness or pain, numbness/tingling in your fingers or toes, pale or gray color of the lips/tongue/palms of hands, signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), unusual weakness/tiredness, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, change in the amount of urine.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Read the entire patient information overview for Colchicine (Colchicine)
Gastrointestinal disorders are the most common adverse reactions with colchicine. They are often the first signs of toxicity and may indicate that the colchicine dose needs to be reduced or therapy stopped. These include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Colchicine has been reported to cause neuromuscular toxicity, which may present as muscle pain or weakness [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Toxic manifestations associated with colchicine include myelosuppression, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and injury to cells in the renal, hepatic, circulatory, and central nervous system. These most often occur with excessive accumulation or overdosage [see OVERDOSE].
The following reactions have been reported with colchicine. These have been generally reversible by interrupting treatment or lowering the dose of colchicine:
Digestive: abdominal cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, nausea, vomiting
Neurological: sensory motor neuropathy
Dermatological: alopecia, maculopapular rash, purpura, rash
Hematological: leukopenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, pancytopenia, aplastic anemia
Hepatobiliary: elevated AST, elevated ALT
Musculoskeletal: myopathy, elevated CPK, myotonia, muscle weakness, muscle pain, rhabdomyolysis
Reproductive: azoospermia, oligospermia
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Colchicine (Colchicine)