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What does it do?

Colchicine is used to treat and prevent gout, and sometimes other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take colchicine as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with colchicine including:

  • fluconazole (e.g. Diflucan®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. St John's wort) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Diarrhoea

Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain

Skin rash, itching, sore throat, feeling unwell

Stop taking and see your doctor immediately

Easy/unusual bruising or bleeding, fever

Tingling or numbness

Muscle weakness

Tell your doctor

Hair loss or thinning, loss of appetite

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney, liver, heart, blood, muscle or stomach problems, or bowel disease.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Colchicine can affect fertility – discuss this with your doctor.
  • If you are taking colchicine for a gout attack, do not take more than the maximum total dose advised by your doctor. If you have taken colchicine in the last 3 days, do not start another course. Discuss with your doctor.
  • Grapefruit, grapefruit juice or sour/Seville oranges may react with colchicine. Discuss with your pharmacist.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. December 2017

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed