Generic Name: colchicine (KOL chi seen)
Brand Names: Colcrys
What is Colcrys?
Colcrys (colchicine) affects the way the body responds to uric acid crystals, which reduces swelling and pain.
Because colchicine was developed prior to federal regulations requiring FDA review of all marketed drug products, not all uses for colchicine have been approved by the FDA. As of 2009, Colcrys is the only brand of colchicine that has been approved by the FDA.
The Colcrys brand of colchicine is FDA-approved to treat gout in adults, and to treat a genetic condition called Familial Mediterranean Fever in adults and children who are at least 4 years old.
Generic forms of colchicine have been used to treat or prevent attacks of gout, or to treat symptoms of Behcets syndrome (such as swelling, redness, warmth, and pain).
Colchicine is not a cure for gouty arthritis or Behcets syndrome, and it will not prevent these diseases from progressing. Colchicine should not be used as a routine pain medication for other conditions.
Colcrys may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Because colchicine was developed prior to federal regulations requiring FDA review of all marketed drug products, not all uses for colchicine have been approved by the FDA. As of 2009, Colcrys is the only brand of colchicine that has been approved by the FDA. You should not use Colcrys if you are allergic to colchicine. Do not take this medicine if you have liver or kidney disease and are also taking any of the medications listed below under "What other drugs can affect Colcrys."
Before taking Colcrys, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, a stomach ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, intestinal bleeding, or any other severe gastrointestinal disorder.
If you take Colcrys over a long period of time, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as muscle pain or weakness, numbness or tingly feeling in your fingers or toes, severe vomiting or diarrhea, easy bruising or bleeding, feeling weak or tired, flu symptoms, blood in your urine, urinating less than usual or not at all, or a pale or gray appearance of your lips, tongue, or hands.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Colcrys if you are allergic to colchicine. Do not take Colcrys if you have liver or kidney disease and are also taking any of the medications listed below under "What other drugs can affect Colcrys."
To make sure you can safely take this medicine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
a stomach ulcer or severe gastrointestinal disorder;
Crohn's disease; or
intestinal bleeding or other disorder.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Colcrys will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether colchicine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Colcrys without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
How should I take Colcrys?
If your doctor has prescribed the Colcrys brand of colchicine, do not use any other type or brand of the medication. Colcrys is the only brand of colchicine that has been approved by the FDA. If you use a generic brand of colchicine, you may be using an unapproved dose of this medication, which could be dangerous. Do not purchase colchicine on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. Using this medication improperly or without the advice of a doctor can result in serious side effects or death.
Take Colcrys exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
This medicine can be taken with or without food.
To treat a gout attack, for best results take colchicine at the first sign of the attack. The longer you wait to start taking the medication, the less effective it may be.
You may need to take a second lower dose of Colcrys 1 hour after the first dose if you still have gout pain. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Your dose will depend on the reason you are taking this medication. Colcrys doses for gout and Mediterranean fever are different.
If you use this medication over a long period of time, your blood may need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
Keep using Colcrys as directed, even if you feel well. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in preventing gout attacks. Do not stop using Colcrys without first talking to your doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of colchicine can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms may include diarrhea (may be bloody and severe), nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, heartburn, a burning feeling in your throat or stomach, muscle weakness, urinating less than usual, numbness or tingling, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid?
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Colcrys and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Colcrys side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Colcrys: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
muscle pain or weakness;
numbness or tingly feeling in your fingers or toes;
pale or gray appearance of your lips, tongue, or hands;
severe vomiting or diarrhea;
easy bruising or bleeding, feeling weak or tired;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
blood in your urine; or
urinating less than usual or not at all.
Less serious Colcrys side effects may include:
mild nausea or vomiting, stomach pain; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect Colcrys?
Colcrys can interact with certain other drugs. A colchicine drug interaction can be fatal. Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
digoxin (Lanoxin, digitalis);
isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), or telithromycin (Ketek);
antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), miconazole (Oravig), or voriconazole (Vfend);
cholesterol-lowering medicines such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fenofibrate (Antara, Lipofen, TriCor), fluvastatin (Lescol), gemfibrozil (Lopid), lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor, Simcor, Vytorin), and others;
heart or blood pressure medication such as amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nicardipine (Cardene), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), quinidine (Quin-G), reserpine, verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;
HIV or AIDS medication such as atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), ritonavir (Kaletra, Norvir), tipranavir (Aptivus); or
medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with Colcrys. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about Colcrys (colchicine)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Colcrys.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.
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