colchicine, Colcrys (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

Combining colchicine with statins, for example atorvastatin (Lipitor), 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.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of colchicine in pregnant women. Colchicine crosses the placenta, and animal studies suggest that colchicine is harmful to the developing fetus; however, their are no reports that contain miscarriage, still births, or harmful effects to the fetus when pregnant women used colchicine for treating FMF. Nevertheless, colchicine should only be used during pregnancy if the benefit justifies the risk to the fetus.

NURSING MOTHERS: Colchicine is excreted into human milk and may cause adverse effects in the infant.

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of colchicine are dose-related and include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Colchicine also may cause hair loss, weakness, and nerve irritation. One of the most worrisome side effects of colchicine is that it can damage the bone marrow causing severe anemia, low white blood counts, and low platelets. Reduced white blood cell counts may increase the risk of infections. All patients taking colchicine long-term require monitoring of their blood counts. Colchicine also may cause muscle pain (myopathy) or severe muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis). Patients with renal or liver dysfunction or taking some other drugs (for example, simvastatin and other statins, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), which also affect muscle tissue, are at a higher risk of developing rhabdomyolysis.

Reference: Colcrys FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 2/23/2011



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