Colchicine acts as an antigout agent. It can be used in combination with other medicines also.
Uses of Colchicine
It is used in the treatment of gouts, and to prevent flare-ups of gout when it is used along with other medicines like Probenecid, etc.
Contraindications of Colchicine
When should one not use Colchicine
- If you are allergic to Colchicine
- If you have a severe blood disorder (low white cell count/ low platelet count)
- If you are a woman of childbearing age who is not using effective contraception
- If you are undergoing hemodialysis (blood purification procedure done in kidney failure)
- If you have kidney or liver problems
Side effects of Colchicine
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Stomach pain
- Inflammation of the mouth, sore throat
- Prolonged bleeding, bruising or skin problems
Precautions and Warnings of Colchicine
Can I take Colchicine during pregnancy?
Colchicine is a genotoxic (causing damage to genes) and teratogenic (capable of causing harm to the fetus/ unborn baby) medicine; hence, it is not safe during pregnancy or if you are planning to be pregnant.
Can I take Colchicine while breastfeeding?
Colchicine passes into breast milk and should not be taken by women who are breastfeeding their babies.
Can I drive if I have consumed Colchicine?
Driving while taking Colchicine is usually safe, but may cause drowsiness, (decreased alertness) or dizziness (spinning sensation) in some individuals. Do not drive if this happens to you.
Can I consume alcohol with Colchicine?
Alcohol increases uric acid levels, and hence, you are advised to stay away from alcohol if you are taking Colchicine or under treatment for gout.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- Bone marrow suppression (a decrease in bone marrow function leading to a reduction in white blood cells)
- Reduction in red blood cells and pigment (aplastic anaemia) and/or decreased blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
- Liver, kidney, gastrointestinal and heart disease
- Patients with abnormal blood counts
- Elderly and weak patients
- Also, regular blood tests are advised for continuous monitoring
Mode of Action of Colchicine
How Does It Work?
Colchicine acts by stopping the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints by various mechanisms and decreases inflammation, pain, swelling, and other symptoms of gout.
Interactions of Colchicine
Interactions with other medicines
- Certain antibiotics (Clarithromycin, Erythromycin and Telithromycin)
- Medicines used to treat HIV/AIDS (Ritonavir, Atazanavir and Indinavir)
- Cyclosporine (immunosuppressant drug used to prevent organ rejection after a transplant, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Medicines used to treat fungal infections (Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Voriconazole)
- Certain heart medicines (Verapamil and Diltiazem)
- Disulfiram (used to treat alcoholism)
Interactions with food items
Colchicine does not interact with food, and you can take it before or after meals.
Dietary Restrictions of Colchicine
- Taking grapefruit juice may lead to increased amount of Colchicine in your blood
- Drink plenty of water (this flushes out uric acid from your blood)
Dosage of Colchicine
Colchicine overdose is potentially life-threatening, especially in patients who are suffering from liver, kidney gastrointestinal, or heart disease. Inform your doctor immediately in case of an overdose.
Missed a Dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular dosing; do not take extra medicine to compensate for the missed dose. It is essential not to take Colchicine tablets at intervals shorter than those prescribed by a doctor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What specific precautions should I follow while taking Colchicine?
A: Colchicine is a potentially toxic medicine. There is little difference between regular dose and overdose. Do not self-medicate, and take it exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Keep in mind the interval between two dosages and follow the dose timings precisely.
Q: How long should I take Colchicine?
A: Colchicine may be prescribed for long term use. Take this medicine as long as your doctor has suggested.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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