Colchicine Side Effects

by on March 11, 2012

Colchicine is a controversial medication due to its poisoning properties and potential side effects. Despite the benefits of this drug, some side effects, both common and severe, have been noted. Common side effects can include stomach pain, nauseas, and diarrhea, while more serious side effects may include bleeding, seizures, or severe stomach pain. Allergic reactions can also occur when patients consume colchicine. A description of these potential adverse reactions and side effects, as well as tips regarding when to consult with a doctor, is discussed below.

Common Colchicine Side Effects

Along with the intended effects, colchicine, like other medications, may cause some unwanted side effects. Not all of these side effects may occur, but if they do, they may need medical attention. Some of the most common colchicine side effects include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea

Serious Colchicine Side Effects

colchicine Other, more serious side effects may also occur. Although these side effects are rare, patients should seek out medical treatment as soon as possible once they are experienced. They include the following:

  • Black and tarry stool
  • Blood in urine or stools
  • Burning sensation in the skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sores or ulcers in the mouth or on the lips
  • Headache

If colchicine is taken inappropriately or more than the recommended dosage is consumed, an overdose may occur. Patients should understand what symptoms of a colchicine overdose include, and they are the following:

  • Severe nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  • Very severe muscle weakness
  • Bleeding
  • Burning feeling in throat or stomach
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Bloody or severe diarrhea

Some of the most frequently experienced serious side effects of colchicine are due to an allergic reaction. If this occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some of the most common serious side effects include:

  • Rash
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, face, and mouth
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing

Colchicine in the Elderly

Many medical professionals and organizations encourage that other medications and treatments be used with elderly patients. This is because the elderly population may be more susceptible to cumulative toxicity with colchicine or Colcrys, and this can be attributed to age-related renal function impairment. It is thought that other types of treatments involving corticosteroids should be considered and may be a better option. If there are no other options available and Colchicine is prescribed for an elderly patient, they should use lower doses and should take no more than 3mg of the drug over a four day period.

Colchicine has had previous success in the treatment of gout, familial Mediterranean fever, and other impairments. Despite its successes, various side effects also exist, and these side effects can have a variety of negative reactions on the patient. The drug’s toxicity makes it especially dangerous, and risks of overdose are also associated with its consumption. Patients should be sure that their doctor and pharmacist know about any possible drug or disease interactions before taking this medication in order to prevent the more dangerous interactions and colchicine side effects.