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Colchicine is used to prevent gout attacks and to relieve pain of gout attacks when they occur. It is also used to treat familial Mediterranean fever (FMF).

How it works

Colchicine  works by reducing swelling and pain in the affected joint. It blocks the movement of white blood cells ( leucocytes) to the area of uric acid deposition. The white blood cells (leucocytes) get accumulated at site of inflammation and produces chemicals (cytokines) to increase inflammation. 

Common side effects

Pain, Numbness, Abnormal blood cell count, Bone marrow suppression, Hair loss, Muscle cramp, Muscle injury, Nausea, Rash, Renal injury, Hepatic injury, Stomach pain, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Abdominal pain, Weakness


Expert advice

  • Do not start or continue colchicine and consult your doctor, if you are allergic to colchicine.
  • Consult doctor if you have serious nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or if you have tingling in your fingers or toe.
  • Consult  your doctor before taking colchicine, if you feel exhausted and worn out.
  • Consult your doctor, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is colchicine/ Colcrys a NSAID or steroid or narcotic or blood thinner?
No, colchicine is an alkaloid prepared from natural sources.

Q. How long can I take colchicine for?
Don’t stop your medication abruptly. Consult your doctor before stopping any medicine, and never attempt to do it on your own.

Q. Can I take colchicine with paracetamol or allopurinol or indomethacin or febuxostat or tramadol or diclofenac or naproxen or prednisone or warfarin?
No results have been found for any interaction of colchicine with these medicines, but please consult with your doctor before taking this medication.

Q. Does colchicine expire?
Yes. It has an expiry. Do not take colchicine after the expiry date which is stated on the label. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Q. Does colchicine cause weight loss?
Colchicine is known to cause weight loss. If you experience such side effects, always consult your doctor.

Q.Does colchicine cause hair loss?
Yes, hair loss is one of it’s side effect.

Q. Does colchicine raise blood sugar?
Colchicine may affect your blood sugar level. If you are a patient suffering from diabetes, take colchicine as recommended by your doctor.

Q. Does colchicine cause liver damage?
Colchicine very cause liver damage, but on high dose it may cause liver damage.

Content on this page was last updated on 28 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)