What is Colchicine?
Colchicine is a gout medication. Gout is a condition that affects the joints, caused by too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid forms crystals in the fluid surrounding the joints, leading to redness, stiffness and pain. Colchicine reduces inflammation, which helps ease the symptoms.
When is it used?
Colchicine is used to treat acute gout attacks and to help prevent gout in patients who are prescribed acid-reducing medications.
How to use Colchicine
Patients are commonly prescribed a short course of Colchicine for an acute gout attack. For the best result, it is important that you take the medicine as quickly as possible. If you have been prescribed Colchicine to prevent future attacks of gout, you will need to stay on the medication for a longer period of time.
One tablet of Colchicine contains 0.5 mg of colchicine. Unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor, the usual dose in adults is:
- For acute gout attacks: one tablet, two to three times a day
- To prevent gout attacks: one tablet, once or twice a day
The duration of the treatment is decided by your doctor. It is important not to exceed the prescribed dose.
If you have forgotten to take a dose of Colchicine, you may take the missed dose unless it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Never take a double dose of Colchicine to make up for the forgotten tablet. Colchicine can cause major health problems if taken in too high a dose.
Colchicine may cause side effects. The most commonly noted side effects associated with Colchicine include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea and vomiting. Consult your doctor if you have these symptoms
- Skin irritation (itching, rash)
- Note: Colchicine is toxic when taken in too high doses. Consult your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following signs of poisoning: burning sensation in the throat, bloody diarrhoea, stomach ache, nausea.
See package leaflet for more side effects, warnings and contraindications.
Colchicine is harmful to the health of your unborn baby or newborn. Do not use Colchicine if you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
Do not have grapefruits or grapefruit juice while taking Colchicine. Grapefruit is known to intensify the effects of this medicine.
Alcohol increases the production of uric acid, which may precipitate a gout attack. It is therefore advisable to reduce or stop your alcohol consumption while taking Colchicine.
Colchicine does not affect your ability to drive.