Colchicine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: colchicine (KOL-chi-seen)
Brand Name: Colcrys

Colchicine is used for:

Treating and preventing gout flares. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Colchicine is a beta-tubulin interactor. Exactly how colchicine works is not known. However, it may affect certain proteins in the body, which may relieve gout symptoms.

Do NOT use colchicine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in colchicine
  • the patient is a CHILD with gout
  • you have liver or kidney problems and you are also taking certain other medicines (eg, atazanavir, boceprevir, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, darunavir, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, posaconazole, ritonavir or any medicine that contains ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir, telithromycin, tipranavir, troleandomycin)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using colchicine:

Some medical conditions may interact with colchicine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a blood disorder, stomach or bowel problems, heart problems, or liver or kidney problems, or if you are having dialysis
  • if you are in very poor health

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with colchicine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Digoxin, fibrates (eg, fenofibric acid, gemfibrozil), or HMG-Co A reductase inhibitors (eg, simvastatin) because the risk of severe or fatal muscle problems may be increased
  • Amprenavir, aprepitant, atazanavir, azole antifungals (eg, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), boceprevir, cyclosporine, darunavir, diltiazem, fosamprenavir, fosaprepitant, indinavir, macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin, troleandomycin), nefazodone, nelfinavir, ranolazine, ritonavir or any medicine that contains ritonavir, saquinavir, telaprevir, telithromycin, tipranavir, or verapamil because they may increase the risk of colchicine's side effects, including severe or fatal side effects
  • Sympathomimetics (eg, pseudoephedrine, albuterol) because the risk of their side effects may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if colchicine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use colchicine:

Use colchicine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Some brands of colchicine come with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get colchicine refilled.
  • Take colchicine by mouth with or without food.
  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using colchicine.
  • Continue to use colchicine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of colchicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use colchicine.

Important safety information:

  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using colchicine; it may increase their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Colchicine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Colchicine may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Accidental ingestion or overdose of colchicine has been fatal in children and adults. Keep colchicine out of the reach of children. In case of an overdose, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
  • If nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea occurs, ask your doctor for ways to lessen these effects. Contact your doctor right away if you experience severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take colchicine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Rarely, colchicine may decrease fertility in men. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Colchicine may interfere with certain lab tests, including urine tests for red blood cells or hemoglobin. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking colchicine.
  • Lab tests, including complete blood cell counts, kidney function, and liver function, may be performed while you use colchicine. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use colchicine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, including muscle and nerve problems.
  • Colchicine should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 4 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using colchicine while you are pregnant. Colchicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use colchicine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of colchicine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; mild sore throat; nausea; stomach pain or cramping; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (with or without fever or fatigue); numbness or tingling in the fingers or toes; pale or gray color of the lips, tongue, or palms of the hands; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting; signs of infection (eg, fever, chills, severe or persistent sore throat); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blood in the urine or decreased urination; bloody diarrhea; burning of the throat, stomach, or skin; delirium; muscle weakness; seizures; severe or persistent diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting.

Proper storage of colchicine:

Store colchicine at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, light, and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep colchicine out of the reach of children and pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about colchicine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Colchicine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take colchicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about colchicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to colchicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using colchicine.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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