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 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 daily.
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 effects occur.
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),
- nelfinavir (Viracept),
- saquinavir (Invirase),
- telithromycin (Ketek),
- ritonavir (Norvir),
- amprenavir (Agenerase),
- aprepitant (Emend),
- diltiazem (Cardizem),
- fluconazole (Diflucan),
- fosamprenavir (Lexiva),
- grapefruit juice,
- verapamil (Calan),
- cyclosporine, and
- ranolazine (Ranexa).
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.
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)
Colchicine (Colcrys) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of acute gout and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Off-label treatment uses include pseudogout, amyloidosis, and scleroderma. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Gout Quiz: What is Gout? Is There a Gout Diet?
Learn what causes those painful crystals to form during a gout flare. Take the Gout Quiz to learn all about this painful...
Picture of Gout
Condition characterized by abnormally elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, recurring attacks of joint inflammation...
Picture of Fixed Drug Eruption
A large red-violet plaque on the arm of a child. See a picture of Fixed Drug Eruption and learn more about the health topic.
Gout Attack Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Diet
Gout attacks (gouty arthritis) are caused by crystals of uric acid deposits. Learn about symptoms, causes, treatments and...
Related Disease Conditions
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases resulting from abnormal deposition of certain proteins (amyloids) in various bodily areas. The amyloid proteins may either be deposited in one particular area of the body (localized amyloidosis) or they may be deposited throughout the body (systemic amyloidosis). There are three types of systemic amyloidosis: primary (AL), secondary (AA), and familial (ATTR). Primary amyloidosis is not associated with any other diseases and is considered a disease entity of its own. Secondary amyloidosis occurs as a result of another illness. Familial Mediterranean Fever is a form of familial (inherited) amyloidosis. Amyloidosis treatment involves treating the underlying illness and correcting organ failure.
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and redness, typically of a single joint. Gout may be treated with diet and lifestyle changes, as well as medication.
Pericarditis (Symptoms, ECG, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from heart attack, heart surgery, trauma, viral or fungal infection, HIV, tumors, mixed connective tissue disease, metabolic disease, medication reactions, or unknown reasons. Treatment for pericarditis is generally medication, however, sometimes surgery is necessary.
Pseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout include pain, stiffness, warmth, and joint swelling of the knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, and/or wrists. Treatment for pseudogout aims to decrease inflammation through the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, and rest.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the skin and organs of the body, leading to thickness and firmness of involved areas. Scleroderma is also referred to as systemic sclerosis, and the cause is unknown. Treatment of scleroderma is directed toward the individual features that are most troubling to the patient.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBS) is a liver disease in which bile building up in the organ damages bile ducts. Ultimately, this can cause liver failure. A number of drugs are available to treat this disease of unknown cause, but the only ultimate cure is a liver transplant.
Erythema nodosum is a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs below the knees. Erythema nodosum can resolve on its own in three to six weeks, leaving a bruised area. Treatments include anti-inflammatory medications and cortisone by mouth or injection.
Pulmonary fibrosis is scarring throughout the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including chronic inflammatory processes, infections, environmental agents, exposure to ionizing radiation, chronic conditions, and certain medications. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, and diminished exercise tolerance. Treatment options are dependent on the type of pulmonary fibrosis; lung transplant and/or medications are options.
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body tissues and can appear in almost any body organ. However, sarcoidosis most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis or PSC is a disease of the liver. The cause of PSC is not known. Symptoms may include itching, fatigue, jaundice, fever, and confusion. The only treatment for Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a liver transplant.
Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
Taking prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs or supplements should be discussed with your doctor. There are some medications that have been found to cause no problems in pregnancy, however, medications such as Accutane for acne, should never be taken during pregnancy.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC)
Primary biliary sclerosis (PBC) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the deterioration of the liver's small bile ducts. These ducts are crucial to transport bile to the small intestine, digesting fats and removing wastes. Symptoms of PBC are: Edema Itching Elevated cholesterol Malabsorption of fat Liver cancer Gallstones Urinary tract infections (UTIs) Hypothyroidism Treatments include ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA); colchicine (Colcrys); and immunosuppressive medications, such as corticosteroids; obeticholic acid (Ocaliva); and medications that treat PBC symptoms. For PBC that is associated with cirrhosis of the liver, liver transplantation may be indicated in extreme cases.
Peyronie's Disease (Curvature of the Penis)
Peyronie's disease or curvature of the penis (Peyronie disease) is a condition in which scar tissue develops inside the penis. This scar tissue causes the penis to develop an abnormal curvature in the scarred area. At this time, there is no known cause of Peyronie's disease. Symptoms of Peyronie's disease include pain during intercourse or ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence), the inability to have sexual intercourse, anxiety, stress, an indentation of the shaft at the site where there is plaque or scarring, and an angulation of the penis when erect or flaccid. There is no cure for Peyronie's disease, however, there are medications that can reduce symptoms of the disease. Surgery or penile implants may be an option for severe cases.
Is There a Cure for Cirrhosis of the Liver?
Liver cirrhosis results from disease- or chemical-induced injury to the liver over a sustained period. The injury kills liver cells, and your body attempts to rebuild the damage. In the process, the existing cells are inflamed and scar tissue results, compromising the structure of the liver and hampering its function.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Gout FAQs
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Latest Arthritis News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Colcrys FDA Prescribing Information