Colchicine is a medication taken by patients to prevent and treat flares or gout attacks. Usually, the symptoms of this condition develop suddenly, and they may involve a few joints, including knee, big toe and ankle joints. Basically, it’s caused by having too much uric acid in people’s blood, because it starts forming hard crystals in joints. The good news is that this medicine works by reducing swelling and build-up of such crystals that are responsible for causing pain in affected joints. Colchicine also prevents unpleasant pain attacks in the chest, abdomen and joints resulted by Mediterranean fever. There are suggestions that it works by reducing the production of amyloid A in the body, but this medication shouldn’t be taken to relieve other pain causes, because it’s not a pain killer in its essence.
How to Take Colchicine Correctly
You need to take it orally, either with or without food, and your doses depend on certain recommendations, so only doctors can prescribe the right one. Taking higher doses than needed won’t increase the effectiveness of this medicine, and it will only lead to increasing the risk of developing side effects. For patients who want to treat gout attacks, you need to take Colchicine at their first signs, and your recommended dosage is 1.2 mg followed by 0.6 mg taken 1 hour later. The maximum dosage allowed for patients is 1.8 mg taken in 1 hour. If you want to use this medicine to prevent gout attacks, consult your physician to get basic directions. When doctors prescribe Colchicine to prevent pain attacks resulted by Mediterranean fever, the most common doses of patients range from 1.2 mg to 2.4 mg taken each day. It’s advisable to avoid eating grapefruits or drinking this juice while undergoing this treatment, because it increases the amount of this medicine in the blood and leads to increased side effects.
Expected Colchicine Side Effects
There are certain side effects caused by the intake of this medication, including cramping, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. If any of these unwanted symptoms get worse, you need to call your doctor at once. Most of those patients who take Colchicine don’t have any discomfort or unwanted symptoms. However, you need to stop this treatment and go to the hospital once you notice any serious side effects, such as:
Severe vomiting and diarrhea;
Easy bleeding and bruising;
Muscle pain and weakness;
Tingling and numbness in toes and fingers;
Gray or pale color of lips and hands;
Signs of new infections;
Unusual tiredness and allergic reactions.
Important Colchicine Contraindications
Before you start using this medication, let your doctor know whether you have any allergies and other health conditions, such as liver and kidney problems. You also need to avoid drinking alcohol when undergoing this treatment, because it reduces the effectiveness of Colchicine. Finally, avoid possible drug interactions after discussing them with your physician.