DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/kead625 ISSN: 1462-0324

Colchicine: the good, the bad, the ugly and how to minimize the risks

Lisa K Stamp, Carl Horsley, Leanne Te Karu, Nicola Dalbeth, Murray Barclay
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Rheumatology


Colchicine has an important role in managing various conditions, including gout, familial Mediterranean fever, amyloidosis, Behçet’s syndrome, recurrent pericarditis and calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. The adverse effect profile of colchicine is well understood. However, due to its narrow therapeutic index, colchicine has been associated with overdose and fatalities. When ingested in toxic amounts, the mainstay of management is supportive care. Strategies to minimize the risk of colchicine poisoning can focus on three broad causes: unauthorized access, intentional overdose and inappropriate dosing. Culturally safe and appropriate education about storage and appropriate use of colchicine is essential to minimize the risk of overdose.

More from our Archive