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Why is this medication prescribed?

Those who have sudden, intense pain in one or more joints due to abnormally high levels of the chemical uric acid in the blood are treated with colchicine to prevent gout attacks. When gout attacks happen, colchicine (Colcrys) is also utilised to reduce their discomfort. Colchicine (Colcrys) is also used to treat familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), an inborn disorder that affects people of all ages and results in periods of fever, discomfort, and swelling of the joints, lungs, and stomach. Colchicine cannot be used to treat pain that is not brought on by gout or FMF because it is not a pain reliever. Colchicine belongs to the group of drugs known as anti-gout agents. It functions by halting the physiological mechanisms that lead to edoema and other FMF and gout symptoms.

How should this medicine be used?

Colchicine is available as a tablet and a solution (liquid; Gloperba), both of which can be ingested with or without meals. In order to treat FMF or prevent gout attacks, colchicine is typically used once or twice daily. Colchicine (Colcrys) is typically given in two doses: the first at the first sign of pain and the second, lesser dose, which is typically administered one hour later. Before consuming extra doses of medication, consult your doctor if you do not feel better or encounter another episode a few days following therapy. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you do not understand, and carefully follow their instructions. Take colchicine as prescribed by your doctor. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

It is crucial to correctly measure the right amount of liquid for each dose using an oral syringe (measuring device); do not use a regular spoon.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of colchicine (Colcrys) and then gradually increase it to treat FMF. If you encounter side effects, your doctor might reduce your dose.

If you are taking colchicine to prevent gout episodes, contact your physician straight away if you have a gout attack while taking the medication. A larger dose of colchicine should be taken immediately after the extra dose, according to your doctor. If you take extra doses of colchicine to treat a gout attack, you shouldn’t take your next dose of colchicine until at least 12 hours have passed since you took the extra doses.

Only while you are taking the drug will colchicine be able to stop gout attacks and manage FMF. Colchicine should still be used even if you feel fine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking colchicine.

Other uses for this medicine

Other prescriptions for this drug are possible. For more information, consult your physician or pharmacist.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking colchicine,

  • If you have an allergy to colchicine, any other drugs, or any of the substances in colchicine tablets or solution, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. For a list of ingredients, ask your doctor or pharmacist or consult the prescription guide.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins, food supplements, and herbal remedies you are now taking, have taken within the past 14 days, or intend to take. Any of the following should be mentioned: drugs such erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin), telithromycin (Ketek; not available in the United States), clarithromycin (Biaxin), azithromycin (Zithromax), and others; Aprepitant (Emend), antifungal drugs including fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and posaconazole (Noxafil); cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) like atorvastatin; and posaconazole (Noxafil) (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), and simvastatin (Zocor); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin); and diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, and others); cyclosporine (GenGraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); fibrate drugs include bezafibrate, fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen), and gemfibrozil (Lopid); HIV/AIDS drugs including amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (in Kaletra, Norvir); verapamil with ranolazine (Ranexa) (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects. Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, even any not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with colchicine.
  • If you have kidney or liver illness now or formerly had it, let your doctor know. If you are taking certain other medications or if you have both kidney and liver disease, your doctor may advise you not to take colchicine.
  • Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking colchicine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

While using colchicine, avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If it is almost time for the next dose of colchicine and you usually take it, omit the missed dose and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

Nevertheless, if you fail to take the second dose of colchicine (Colcrys) and are taking it to treat a gout attack that occurred while you were taking it to prevent gout attacks, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. After that, you should wait at least 12 hours before taking your next colchicine dose as prescribed.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Colchicine could have negative effects. If any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away, contact your doctor right once:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach discomfort or cramps

Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away and stop taking colchicine if you suffer any of the following symptoms:

  • Aching or weakened muscles
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers or toes
  • Significant bruising or bleeding
  • Infection symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, chills, and others
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Lips, tongue, or hands that are pale or grey

Male fertility may be affected by colchicine. The dangers of taking colchicine should be discussed with your doctor.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

In the event of an overdose, head straight to the emergency room of the closest hospital. Colchicine overdose can result in death.

Overdose symptoms could include:

  • Stomach discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Significant bruising or bleeding
  • Infection symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, chills, and others
  • Lips, tongue, or hands that are pale or grey
  • Decreased breathing
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how you are responding to colchicine, your doctor may request specific lab tests.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Colcrys®
  • Gloperba®
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