NZ Formulary



What does it do?

Colchicine is used to treat and prevent gout attacks. It is sometimes used for other conditions.

How should you take it?

Take colchicine as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. 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


Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain

Skin rash, itching

Reduced number of blood cells that fight infections or help your blood to clot - symptoms include: fever, chills, sore throat or generally feeling unwell, or easy or unusual bruising or bleeding

Stop taking and see your doctor immediately

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.