Generic Name: colchicine (KOL chi seen)Brand Names: Colcrys
Colchicine affects the way the body responds to uric acid crystals, which reduces swelling and pain.Because colchicine was developed prior to federal regulations requiring FDA review of all marketed drug products, not all uses for colchicine have been approved by the FDA. As of 2009, Colcrys is the only brand of colchicine that has been approved by the FDA.
The Colcrys brand of colchicine is FDA-approved to treat gout in adults, and to treat a genetic condition called Familial Mediterranean Fever in adults and children who are at least 4 years old.
Generic forms of colchicine have been used to treat or prevent attacks of gout, or to treat symptoms of Behcets syndrome (such as swelling, redness, warmth, and pain).
Colchicine is not a cure for gouty arthritis or Behcets syndrome, and it will not prevent these diseases from progressing. Colchicine should not be used as a routine pain medication for other conditions.
Colchicine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Before taking colchicine, tell your doctor if yo have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, a stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, intestinal bleeding, or any other severe gastrointestinal disorder.
If you take colchicine over a long period of time, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as muscle pain or weakness, numbness or tingly feeling in your fingers or toes, severe vomiting or diarrhea, easy bruising or bleeding, feeling weak or tired, flu symptoms, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all, or a pale or gray appearance of your lips, tongue, or hands.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take colchicine:
a stomach ulcer or severe gastrointestinal disorder;
Crohn's disease; or
intestinal bleeding or other disorder.
Take colchicine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Colchicine can be taken with or without food.Your dose will depend on the reason you are taking this medication. Colchicine doses for gout and Mediterranean fever are different.
To treat a gout attack, for best results take colchicine at the first sign of the attack. The longer you wait to start taking the medication, the less effective it may be.
You may need to take a second lower dose of colchicine 1 hour after the first dose if you still have gout pain. Follow your doctor's instructions.
If you use this medication over a long period of time, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.Store colchicine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
See also: Colchicine dosage in more detail
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Overdose symptoms may include diarrhea (may be bloody and severe), nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, heartburn, a burning feeling in your throat or stomach, muscle weakness, urinating less than usual, numbness or tingling, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with colchicine and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
muscle pain or weakness;
numbness or tingly feeling in your fingers or toes;
pale or gray appearance of your lips, tongue, or hands;
severe vomiting or diarrhea;
easy bruising or bleeding, feeling weak or tired;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
blood in your urine; or
urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild nausea or stomach pain; or
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.
Usual Adult Dose for Acute Gout:
Oral:Initial: Gout Flare: 1.2 mg orally at the first sign of the flare followed by 0.6 mg one hour later. Maximum: Gout Flare: 1.8 mg orally over a one hour periodCo-administration with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors:0.6 mg orally followed by 0.3 mg one hour later. Dose to be repeated no earlier than 3 days.Co-administration with moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors:1.2 mg orally for one dose only. Dose to be repeated no earlier than 3 days.Co-administration with P-glycoprotein inhibitors:0.6 mg orally for one dose only. Dose to be repeated no earlier than 3 days.
Usual Adult Dose for Familial Mediterranean Fever:
1.2 mg to 2.4 mg orally daily, administered in 1 or 2 divided dosesThe dose should be increased as needed to control disease and as tolerated in increments of 0.3 mg/day to a maximum recommended daily dose. If intolerable side effects develop, the dose should be decreased in increments of 0.3 mg/day.Co-administration with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors: 0.6 mg orally daily, may be given as 0.3 mg twice a day.Co-administration with moderate CYP3A4 inhibitors: 1.2 mg orally daily, may be given as 0.6 mg twice a day.Co-administration with P-glycoprotein inhibitors: 0.6 mg orally daily, may be given as 0.3 mg twice a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Gout -- Prophylaxis:
(Unlabeled use):Oral: 0.5 to 0.6 mg orally once a day for 3 to 4 days a week (less than 1 attack/year).0.5 to 0.6 mg orally once a day (greater than 1 attack/year).Severe cases may require 1 to 1.8 mg/day.
Usual Adult Dose for Biliary Cirrhosis:
(Unlabeled use):0.6 mg orally twice a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Sarcoidosis:
(Unlabeled use):0.6 mg orally twice a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Pseudogout -- Prophylaxis:
(Unlabeled use):0.6 mg orally twice a day.
Usual Adult Dose for Fibromatosis:
(Unlabeled use):Initial: 0.6 to 1.2 mg orally once a day each day for the first 1 to 2 weeks.Maintenance: 0.6 to 1.2 mg orally once a day 1 to 2 times per week is often used to prevent recurrence of fibromatosis.
Usual Adult Dose for Aphthous Stomatitis -- Recurrent:
(Unlabeled use):0.5 to 0.6 mg orally daily. The dose may be titrated upward while the patient is observed for signs of toxicity.
Usual Adult Dose for Behcet's Disease:
(Unlabeled use):0.5 to 1.5 mg orally once a day.Study (n=116)Dosage adjusted to body weight:less than 50 Kg: 1 mg daily50 to 59 Kg: 1 mg and 1.5 mg on alternate days60 to 75 Kg: 1.5 mg daily76 to 84 Kg: 1.5 and 2 mg on alternate daysgreater than or equal to 85 Kg: 2 mg daily
Usual Adult Dose for Constipation -- Chronic:
(Unlabeled use):Study (n=16)0.6 mg orally three times daily for 4 weeks
Usual Adult Dose for Sweet's Syndrome:
(Unlabeled use):0.6 mg orally twice daily.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Familial Mediterranean Fever:
Oral:4 to 6 years: 0.3 to 1.8 mg daily, administered in 1 or 2 divided doses.6 to 12 years: 0.9 to 1.8 mg daily, administered in 1 or 2 divided doses.Over 12 years: 1.2 to 2.4 mg daily, administered in 1 or 2 divided doses.The dose should be increased as needed to control disease and as tolerated in increments of 0.3 mg/day to a maximum recommended daily dose. If intolerable side effects develop, the dose should be decreased in increments of 0.3 mg/day.
digoxin (Lanoxin, digitalis);
diclofenac (Arthrotec, Cataflam, Voltaren, Flector Patch, Solareze);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex, Quin-Release);
an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or telithromycin (Ketek);
an antifungal medication such as clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or voriconazole (Vfend);
cholesterol-lowering medicines such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, TriCor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and others;
heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
HIV or AIDS medication such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Kaletra, Norvir); or
medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with colchicine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.