What are the uses for colchicine?
Colchicine is used for the treatment of acute flares of gout.
It also is used for treating FMF in adults and children 4 years of age or older. Other
unapproved uses of colchicine include treatment of pseudogout, amyloidosis, and
scleroderma. These unapproved uses of colchicine require further evaluation.
What brand names are available for colchicine?
Is colchicine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for colchicine?
What are the side effects of colchicine?
The most common side effects of colchicine are dose-related and
- abdominal pain, and
- diarrhea. Colchicine also may
- cause hair loss,
- weakness, and
- nerve irritation.
What is the dosage for colchicine?
The recommended dose of colchicine for acute gout is:
- 1.2 mg at the
first sign of symptoms followed by 0.6 mg one hour later.
- The maximum dose over
a one hour period is 1.8 mg.
- In clinical trials 1.8 mg of colchicine
administered over 1 hour was as effective as 4.8 mg administered over 6 hours,
and patients experienced fewer side effects.
- The recommended dose for preventing
flares of gout in individuals older than 16 years of age is 0.6 mg once or twice
The recommended doses of colchicine for FMF are:
- Children 4-6 years old: 0.3 to 1.8 mg daily
- Children 6-12 years old: 0.6 to 1.8 mg daily
- Adults and adolescents older than 12 years: 1.2 to 2.4 mg daily
Total daily doses may be administered in two divided doses. Doses should be
increased by 0.3 mg daily as tolerated until symptoms are controlled or maximum
daily doses are reached. Doses should be decreased by 0.3 mg daily if side
Which drugs or supplements interact with colchicine?
Several drugs reduce the breakdown and elimination of
colchicine from the body by reducing the activity of enzymes that breakdown
colchicine. In order to avoid side effects from colchicine the dose of
colchicine should be reduced when it is combined with or used within 14 days of
drugs that reduce its elimination.
Examples of drugs that reduce the elimination
of colchicine include:
- atazanavir (Reyataz),
- clarithromycin (Biaxin),
- itraconazole (Sporanox),
- lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra),
- saquinavir (Invirase),
- telithromycin (Ketek),
- ritonavir (Norvir),
- amprenavir (Agenerase),
- aprepitant (Emend),
- diltiazem (Cardizem),
- fluconazole (Diflucan),
- fosamprenavir (Lexiva),
- grapefruit juice,
- cyclosporine, and
- ranolazine (Ranexa).
Combining colchicine with statins, for example
simvastatin (Zocor), and
lovastatin (Mevacor), Lopid (gemfibrozil), or
fenofibrate increases the risk of muscle related adverse effects because these
drugs also cause muscle related side effects.
What else should I know about colchicine?
What preparations of colchicine are available?
Tablets: 0.6 mg
How should I keep colchicine stored?
Colchicine should be stored between 20 and 25 C (68-77 F)