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an alkaloid from Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron), used in treatment of gout, including for termination of an attack of acute gout. Side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms and hypotension.



Pharmacologic class: Colchicum alkaloid

Therapeutic class: Antigout drug

Pregnancy risk category C


Unclear. Antigout action may occur through white blood cell (WBC) migration and reduced lactic acid production by WBCs. This action in turn decreases uric acid deposition, kinetin formation, and phagocytosis, leading to reduction in inflammatory response.


Tablets: 0.6 mg

Indications and dosages

Prophylaxis of gout flares

Adults and adolescents age 16 and older: 0.6 mg P.O. daily or b.i.d. Maximum dosage, 1.2 mg/day.

Treatment of gout flares

Adults and adolescents age 16 and older: 1.2 mg P.O. at first sign of a gout flare, followed by 0.6 mg 1 hour later. Wait 12 hours; then resume prophylactic dose.

Familial Mediterranean fever

Adults and adolescents age 12 and older: 1.2 to 2.4 mg P.O. in one or two divided doses. Increase or decrease dosage as indicated and as tolerated in increments of 0.3 mg/day; not to exceed the maximum recommended daily dosage.

Children ages 6 to 12: 0.9 to 1.8 mg P.O. as a single dose or as divided doses b.i.d.

Children ages 4 to 6: 0.3 to 1.8 mg P.O. as a single dose or as divided doses b.i.d.

Dosage adjustment

• Mild hepatic or renal impairment

Off-label uses

• Hepatic cirrhosis

• Chronic progressive multiple sclerosis

• Pyoderma gangrenosum associated with Crohn's disease

• Psoriasis

• Dermatitis herpetiformis


• Hypersensitivity to drug

• Blood dyscrasias

• Serious GI, renal, hepatic, or cardiac disorders

• Concurrent use of P-glycoprotein or strong CYP3A4 inhibitors (including all protease inhibitors except fosamprenavir)


Use cautiously in:

• renal impairment

• elderly or debilitated patients

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients

• children (safety not established).


• Give tablets without regard to meals.

• Know that GI reactions may be troublesome in patients with peptic ulcer or irritable bowel.

Adverse reactions

CNS: peripheral neuritis, neuropathy

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain

GU: anuria, hematuria, reversible azoospermia, renal impairment

Hematologic: purpura, agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia, thrombocytopenia

Metabolic: vitamin B12 malabsorption

Musculoskeletal: myopathy

Skin: dermatosis, alopecia

Other: hypersensitivity reactions


Drug-drug. Cyclosporine: colchicine-induced myopathy

Vitamin B12: reversible vitamin malabsorption

Drug-diagnostic tests. Alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase: increased levels

Hematocrit, hemoglobin, platelets: decreased values

Urine hemoglobin, urinary red blood cells: false-positive results

Drug-food. Caffeine-containing foods and beverages: decreased colchicine effect

Drug-herbs. Herbal teas, St. John's wort: decreased drug effect

Drug-behaviors. Alcohol use: increased uric acid level

Patient monitoring

Monitor patient for signs and symptoms of toxicity (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, burning sensation, muscle weakness, oliguria, hematuria, ascending paralysis, delirium, and seizures). Discontinue drug if these occur.

• Monitor CBC and renal function test results regularly.

• Be aware that patient may need opioids to control drug-induced diarrhea (especially if he's receiving maximum colchicine dosage).

Patient teaching

• Tell patient to take tablets with or without food.

• Instruct patient to report rash, sore throat, fever, tiredness, weakness, numbness, or tingling.

Tell patient to immediately report muscle tremors, weakness, fatigue, bruising, bleeding, yellowing of eyes or skin, pale stools, dark urine, severe vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, or abdominal pain.

• Advise patient to increase fluid intake to prevent renal calculi (unless prescriber wants him to restrict fluids).

• Instruct patient to avoid alcohol, herbal teas, and caffeine during therapy.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, foods, herbs, and behaviors mentioned above.


(kol'chi-sin), [USP]
An alkaloid obtained from Colchicum autumnale (family Liliaceae); used in the chronic treatment of gout. Inhibits microtuble formation.


/col·chi·cine/ (kol´chĭ-sēn) an alkaloid from the tree Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron), used as a suppressant for gout.


(kŏl′chĭ-sēn′, kŏl′kĭ-)
A poisonous alkaloid, C22H25NO6, that is obtained from the autumn crocus and inhibits microtubule formation. It is used in medicine to treat gout and in plant breeding to produce polyploid plants.


Etymology: Gk, kolchikon
a gout suppressant that suppresses leukocyte mobility and phagocytosis in joints.
indications It may be prescribed in the treatment of acute gout and prophylaxis of recurrent gouty arthritis.
contraindications Ulcer, ulcerative colitis, or known hypersensitivity to this drug prohibits its use. The drug is highly toxic and is not given to elderly, debilitated patients or to those who have chronic renal, hepatic, cardiovascular, or GI disease.
adverse effects Among the most serious adverse reactions are severe GI distress including diarrhea with blood, bone marrow depression, peripheral neuritis, liver dysfunction, and alopecia. It is in pregnancy category D.


An alkaloid isolated from autumn crocus-Colchicum autumnale used for long term control of gout Mechanism Colchicine blocks mitosis at metaphase by binding to the tubulin heterodimer, interfering with microtubule assembly Indications Management of gouty arthritis; used in research to arrest cells during mitosis–by disrupting the spindle, to visualize chromosomes


An alkaloid derived from bulbous plants of the genus Colchicum , such as the autumn crocus, used to treat GOUT and to induce chromosome doubling. The drug is on the WHO official list.


a poisonous alkaloid extracted from the corms of the crocus Colchicum autumnale that acts as a spindle inhibitor during NUCLEAR DIVISION and can thus be used to produce cells with double sets of chromosomes, due to NONDISJUNCTION. Mitosis is halted at the METAPHASE stage of division when the chromosomes are shortest and thickest. Colchicine is used routinely in the preparation of a KARYOTYPE.


A compound that blocks the assembly of microtubules-protein fibers necessary for cell division and some kinds of cell movements, including neutrophil migration. Side effects may include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and gas.

colchicine (kälˑ·ch·sēn),

n an alkaloid derived from the toxic plant
Colchicum autumnale and used to treat the pain and inflammation of gout. Contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women; children; geriatric patients; and those taking antineoplastics, antithyroid medications, azathioprine, chloramphenicol, cyclophosphamide, flucytosine, gancyclovir, interferon, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, phenylbutazone, plicamycin, or zidovudine.


[USP] An alkaloid obtained from Colchicum autumnale; used to treat gout.


a water-soluble antimitotic drug that blocks the addition of tubulin subunits to the ends of existing microtubules, preventing spindle formation. It is a poisonous alkaloid from colchicum autumnale which causes violent purgation, abdominal pain and is often fatal. In research it is used to induce polyploidy by delaying mitosis. In humans it is used in the treatment of gout. See also colchiceine.
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Prices for the Mitigare authorized generic and the Colcrys authorized generic have not been publicly announced.
At this article's deadline, Takeda and Prasco had not responded to a question about the price of the generic Colcrys.
The colchicine to Colcrys transformation has been just the opposite of the normal scenario.
The FDA statement notes that the manufacturer of Colcrys has established a patient assistance program for patients who can't afford the brand-name drug and those on Medicare who don't want the cost of the drug to contribute to their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D expenses.
These programs do not change the fact that total spending on colchicine would be tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars higher each year if Colcrys became the only colchicine, USP to be prescribed.
Our AGREE (MPC-004 for the Treatment of an Acute Gout Flare) trial discovered that two tablets of Colcrys, followed 1 hour later by one tablet, maintained full efficacy while reducing diarrhea from 77% of patients to placebo levels, and reducing severe adverse events from 19% of patients to zero.
The company has established a patient assistance program that enables patients with a household income of up to three times the federal poverty level to receive a 90-day supply of Colcrys for $15.
The editorial incorrectly states that URL Pharma sold unapproved colchicine up until the day before Colcrys was approved in July 2009.
Colcrys sells for about $5 per pill, according to DestinationRx.
Doctors have said that their patients have safely used unapproved colchicine for decades, and that the higher price of Colcrys will limit patient access and drain public health programs (N.
The letter stated that Colcrys approval studies generated important new information about how to safely use colchicine, and that the safety, purity, and efficacy of unapproved drugs cannot be guaranteed.