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Drugs reference index «Colchicine»



Pronunciation: (KOHL-chih-seen)Class: Agent for gout

Trade Names:Colchicine- Tablets 0.6 mg

Colchicine-Odan (Canada)


Inhibits inflammation and reduces pain and swelling associated with gouty arthritis.



Rapidly absorbed. T max is 0.5 to 2 h.


Large amounts present in bile and intestinal secretions. High concentrations also found in kidney, liver, and spleen. About 50% protein bound. Vd is 1 to 3 L/kg.


Undergoes enterohepatic recirculation. Deacetylated primarily by the liver.


Plasma t ½ to 10 to 60 min. Excreted via biliary and renal routes; 10% to 20% excreted unchanged in urine.

Indications and Usage

Treatment and relief of pain in attacks of acute gouty arthritis; regular prophylaxis between attacks and is often effective in aborting an attack when taken at the first sign of articular discomfort.

Unlabeled Uses

Familial Mediterranean fever; hepatic cirrhosis; primary biliary cirrhosis; treatment of Behcet disease; scleroderma; Sweet syndrome.


Serious GI, renal, hepatic, or cardiac disorders; blood dyscrasias.

Dosage and Administration

Acute Gouty ArthritisAdults

Initial dose (give at first sign of attack) PO 1.2 mg; then 0.6 every h or 1.2 mg every 2 h until pain is relieved or diarrhea ensues. Total dose is usually 4 to 8 mg. Wait 3 days before initiating a second course of therapy.


PO 0.6 mg/day for 3 to 4 days/wk if fewer than 1 attack/yr; if more than 1 attack/yr, 0.6 mg/day. Severe cases may require 1.2 to 1.8 mg/day.

Surgical PatientsAdults

PO 0.6 mg 3 times daily for 3 days before and 3 days after surgery.



Store tablets in airtight, light-resistant container.

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

May cause false-positive results in urine tests for RBCs and hemoglobin.

Adverse Reactions


Dermatoses; purpura; alopecia.


Nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain.


Bone marrow depression with aplastic anemia; agranulocytosis, leukopenia or thrombocytopenia (long-term therapy).


Elevated alkaline phosphatase and AST.


Reversible azoospermia; myopathy; peripheral neuritis.



Blood counts

Check blood counts periodically in patients undergoing long-term therapy.

Toxicity signs

Assess for signs of toxicity (eg, abdominal pain, alopecia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, myopathy, peripheral neuritis). Notify health care provider immediately if these signs occur.

Uric acid/Creatinine

Monitor serum uric acid and creatinine throughout therapy.


Category C (oral).




Safety and efficacy not established.


Administer with great caution to elderly and debilitated patients.

Hepatic Function

Increased colchicine toxicity may occur.

GI reactions

Drug may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain that may aggravate pre-existing peptic ulcer or spastic colon. Discontinue drug if these symptoms appear.

Myopathy and neuropathy

Myoneuropathy may occur and cause weakness in patients with impaired kidney function; serum creatine kinase may be elevated. Usually resolves in 3 to 4 wk after drug withdrawal.

Vitamin B 12 malabsorption

Colchicine induces reversible malabsorption of vitamin B 12 with long-term use.



Nausea, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, shock, ST segment elevation, paralysis, respiratory failure, liver damage, renal failure, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, coagulopathy, alopecia, stomatitis.

Patient Information

  • Instruct patient to take colchicine regularly to prevent acute attacks.
  • Instruct patient not to exceed 8 mg in course of therapy for acute attack. To minimize cumulative toxicity, patient should wait 3 days before starting second course.
  • Advise patient with gout to drink at least 2,000 mL of fluid daily, unless contraindicated.
  • Reinforce health care provider's instructions about weight loss, diet, and alcohol intake.
  • Advise patient to have extra supply of drug on hand in case health care provider gives instructions to increase dosage.
  • Instruct patient to stop taking drug if nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain occurs, especially if patient has history of spastic colon or ulcers.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

  • Colchicine MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • colchicine Oral, Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Colcrys Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Colcrys MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Colcrys Consumer Overview

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