Colchicine (By mouth)
Treats and prevents gout attacks, gouty arthritis, and other medical problems. Also treats a rare condition called familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to colchicine. Do not take this medicine if you have kidney disease or liver disease and you are taking certain other medicines.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Your dose may need to be changed several times in order to find out what works best for you. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using a cancer medicine, a medicine to treat an overactive thyroid, azathioprine (Imuran®), chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), interferon, flucytosine (Ancobon®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®), phenylbutazone, or zidovudine (Retrovir®).
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using amprenavir (Agenerase®), aprepitant (Emend®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, or Sandimmune®), digoxin (Lanoxin®), diltiazem (Cardizem®), ranolazine (Ranexa®), verapamil (Calan®, Isoptin®, Verelan®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as atazanavir, darunavir, fosamprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, tipranavir, Aptivus®, Crixivan®, Fortovase®, Invirase®, Kaletra®, Lexiva®, Norvir®, Prezista®, Reyataz®, or Viracept®), medicine to treat an infection (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole, telithromycin, Biaxin®, Ketek®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), medicine to treat depression (such as nefazodone, Serzone®). or medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, bezafibrate, fenofibrate, fenofibric acid, fluvastatin, gemfibrozil, pravastatin, simvastatin, Lipitor®, Lescol®, Lopid®, or Zocor®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney problems, liver problems, anemia, bleeding problems, or muscle pain or weakness.
- Tell the doctor right away if you get muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with this medicine. This might occur when you are just starting this medicine or if your doctor tells you to increase the amount you are taking.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking this medicine without first checking with your doctor.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Bloody or black tarry stools.
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
- Muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in your hands or feet.
- Pale or gray color to your lips, tongue, or palms of your hands.
- Red or dark brown urine.
- Severe diarrhea or vomiting.
- Sudden decrease in the amount of urine.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Hair loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhea, or stomach pain or cramps.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013