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Information about Colchicine

Colchicine is a plant alkaloid that is widely used for treatment of gout.

Colchicine structure
Colchicine structure

Liver safety of Colchicine

Colchicine has not been associated with acute liver injury or liver test abnormalities except with serious overdoses.

Mechanism of action of Colchicine

Colchicine (kol' chi seen) is an ancient medication that has been used for the treatment of gout for centuries. Colchicine is a plant alkaloid derived from several members of the lily family, including meadow saffron or autumn crocus (originally found in the district of Colchis and called colchicum). Colchicine inhibits microtubule and spindle formation and is believed to act by interference with leukocyte migration to the site of uric acid crystal formation, thereby reducing production of inflammatory mediators. Colchicine does not lower serum and tissue uric acid levels, but is effective in relieving the pain and swelling of acute gout.

FDA approval information for Colchicine

Colchicine was officially approved for use in the United States in 1961 and it is still widely used with several million prescriptions filled yearly. Current indications include therapy of acute attacks of gout and as maintenance therapy in combination with other agents to prevent attacks.

Dosage and administration for Colchicine

Colchicine is available in multiple generic forms in tablets of 0.5 and 0.6 mg, as well as in fixed combinations with probenecid. The usual adult dose of colchicine is one tablet daily or every other day. Parenteral preparations for intravenous use are also available.

Clinical use of Colchicine

Colchicine is also used for familial Mediterranean fever and prevention of amyloidosis.

Side effects of Colchicine

Colchicine has a narrow therapeutic window and side effects are common, particularly with high doses. Common complaints include gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and hypersensitivity reactions.

Overdosage can be fatal.  

The following drugs are considered antigout medications:

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