Description and Brand Names
Drug information provided by: Micromedex
US Brand Name
Colchicine is used to prevent or treat attacks of gout (also called gouty arthritis). This condition is caused by too much uric acid in the blood. An attack of gout occurs when uric acid causes inflammation (pain, redness, swelling, and heat) in a joint. Colchicine does not cure gout, but it will help prevent gout attacks. Colchicine is not an ordinary pain reliever and will not relieve most kinds of pain.
Colchicine is also used to treat a rare condition called familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) in adults and children older than 4 years of age.
Colchicine may be used in 2 ways. Most people take small amounts of it regularly for a long time (months or even years) to prevent severe attacks or other problems caused by inflammation. Other people take large amounts of colchicine during a short period of time (several hours) only when the medicine is needed to relieve an attack that is occurring. The chance of serious side effects is much lower with the first (preventive) kind of treatment.
Because some of colchicine's side effects can be very serious, you should discuss with your doctor about the benefits that this medicine can do as well as the risks of using it.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, colchicine is used in certain patients with the following medical conditions:
Calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (pseudogout).
Cirrhosis of the liver.
If you are taking colchicine for any of these conditions, the following information may apply:
For all of these conditions, colchicine is usually given regularly in small amounts to reduce inflammation (preventive treatment). This usually decreases the occurrence of severe attacks or other problems caused by inflammation.
Colchicine is not a cure for these conditions. It will help prevent problems caused by inflammation only as long as you continue to take it.
Some patients with calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (pseudogout) or familial Mediterranean fever may take larger amounts of colchicine only when an attack occurs, to relieve the attack.
This product is available in the following dosage forms: