Skip to Content

Colchicine FDA Alerts

The FDA Alerts below may be specifically about colchicine or relate to a group or class of drugs which include colchicine.

MedWatch Safety Alerts are distributed by the FDA and published by Following is a list of possible medication recalls, market withdrawals, alerts and warnings.

Recent FDA Alerts for colchicine

Colchicine (marketed as Colcrys)

FDA notified healthcare professionals of the approval of the first single-ingredient oral colchicine product, Colcrys, for the treatment of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and acute gout flares and of two previously uncharacterized safety concerns associated with the use of colchicine. Oral colchicine has been used for many years as an unapproved drug with no FDA-approved prescribing information, dosage recommendations, or drug interaction warnings.

FDA analyzed safety data for colchicine from adverse events reported to the Agency, the published literature, and company-sponsored pharmacokinetic and drug interaction studies. This analysis revealed cases of fatal colchicine toxicity reported in certain patients taking standard therapeutic doses of colchicine and concomitant medications that interact with colchicine, such as clarithromycin. These reports suggest that drug interactions affecting the gastrointestinal absorption and/or hepatic metabolism of colchicine play a central role in the development of colchicine toxicity. Data submitted supporting the safety and efficacy of Colcrys in acute gout flares demonstrated that a substantially lower dose of colchicine was as effective as the higher dose traditionally used. Moreover, patients receiving the lower dose experienced significantly fewer adverse events compared to the higher dose.

Based on this information, FDA has included important safety considerations in the approved prescribing information to assure safe use of Colcrys and is providing background information, a data summary and recommendations in this alert.

[07/30/2009 - Information for Healthcare Professionals - FDA]


Injectable Colchicine (including drugs containing colchicine)

[Posted 02/06/2008] FDA announced its intention to take enforcement action against companies marketing unapproved, injectable colchicine, a drug used to treat gout. Colchicine is a highly toxic drug that can easily be administered in excessive doses, especially when given intravenously. There is a narrow margin between an effective dose of the drug and a toxic dose that can result in serious health risks, including death. The FDA is aware of 50 reports of adverse events associated with the use of intravenous colchicine, including 23 deaths. Potentially fatal effects include low blood cell counts, cardiac events, and organ failure. This action does not affect colchicine products that are dispensed in tablet form.

Individuals and companies must stop making these products within 30 days and stop shipping the product within 180 days or face regulatory action. After these dates, all injectable colchicine drug products must have FDA approval to be manufactured or shipped interstate.

[February 06, 2008 - News Release - FDA]
[February 06, 2008 - Questions and Answers - FDA]

Colchicine Compounded Injectable Products (Posted 05/02/2007)

[Posted 05/02/2007] ApothéCure and FDA notified all healthcare professionals of recent deaths associated with the use of compounded injectable Colchicine 0.5mg/ml, 4ml vials, lot number 20070122@26. The company issued an immediate drug recall for all strengths, sizes and lots of compounded Injectable Colchicine sold within the last year. Customers are asked to examine their stock for ApothéCure compounded Colchicine on hand and to discontinue use immediately and prepare the product for return to the company.

[April 30, 2007 - Recall Notice - ApothéCure]

More colchicine Resources