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.
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...
Gout (Gouty Arthritis)
Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...
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...
Pseudogout, a form of arthritis, results when deposits of crystals collect in and around the joints. Symptoms of pseudogout...
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in...
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...
Erythema nodosum is a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the...
Pulmonary fibrosis is scarring throughout the lungs. Pulmonary fibrosis can be caused by many conditions including chronic...
Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body...
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,...
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...
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...
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....
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...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Gout FAQs
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
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