colchicine (generic name)

It is for joint pain and swelling due to attacks of acute gouty arthritis
(KOL chi seen)
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What is this medicine?

COLCHICINE (KOL chi seen) is for joint pain and swelling due to attacks of acute gouty arthritis. The medicine is also used to treat familial Mediterranean fever.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • anemia
  • blood disorders like leukemia or lymphoma
  • heart disease
  • immune system problems
  • intestinal disease
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • muscle pain or weakness
  • take other medicines
  • stomach problems
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to colchicine, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • alcohol
  • certain medicines for cholesterol like atorvastatin
  • certain medicines for coughs and colds
  • certain medicines to help you breathe better
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • epinephrine
  • grapefruit or grapefruit juice
  • methenamine
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • some antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and telithromycin
  • some medicines for an irregular heartbeat or other heart problems
  • some medicines for cancer, like lapatinib and tamoxifen
  • some medicines for fungal infection
  • some medicines for HIV

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. You may need periodic blood checks.

Alcohol can increase the chance of getting stomach problems and gout attacks. Do not drink alcohol.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • fever, chills, or sore throat
  • muscle tenderness, pain, or weakness
  • numbness or tingling in hands or feet
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusually weak or tired
  • vomiting

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain or nausea

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: August 09, 2011
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