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Colcrys

Generic Name: colchicine (KOL chi seen)
Brand Names: Colcrys, Mitigare

Medically reviewed on Mar 26, 2018

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).

Colcrys is not a cure for gouty arthritis or Behcets syndrome, and it will not prevent these diseases from progressing. Colcrys should not be used as a routine pain medication for other conditions.

Important information

Serious drug interactions can occur when certain medicines are used together with Colcrys. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.

Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with Colcrys, especially if you have liver or kidney disease. Your doctor may need to change your treatment plan if you use any of the following drugs:

  • cyclosporine;

  • nefazodone;

  • tipranavir;

  • clarithromycin or telithromycin;

  • itraconazole or ketoconazole; or

  • HIV or AIDS medicine - atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, or saquinavir.

To make sure Colcrys is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • if you take digoxin, or cholesterol-lowering medications.

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Colchicine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take Colcrys?

Take Colcrys exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

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.

Colcrys can be taken with or without food.

To treat a gout attack, for best results take Colcrys 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 medicine. Colchicine doses for gout and Mediterranean fever are different.

Do not stop using Colcrys unless your doctor tells you to, even if you feel fine.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

If you use this medicine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

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, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, muscle weakness, little or no urinating, numbness or tingling, weak pulse, slow heart rate, weak or shallow breathing, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Colcrys?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with colchicine and lead to unwanted side effects. Avoid the use of grapefruit products while taking Colcrys.

Colcrys side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have 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:

  • muscle pain or weakness;

  • numbness or tingly feeling in your fingers or toes;

  • pale or gray appearance of your lips, tongue, or hands;

  • severe or ongoing vomiting or diarrhea;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, feeling weak or tired.

Common Colcrys side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or

  • diarrhea.

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.

What other drugs will affect Colcrys?

Many drugs can interact with colchicine, and some drugs should not be used together. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Colcrys. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Colcrys only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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