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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) Treatment
Primary biliary cirrhosis (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), and 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.
Is There a Cure for Cirrhosis of the Liver?
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Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
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Colcrys FDA Prescribing Information