Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take more of it, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Do not change your dose or stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor.
For patients taking small amounts of colchicine regularly (preventive treatment):
- Take this medicine regularly as directed by your doctor, even if you feel well. If you are taking colchicine to prevent gout attacks, and you are also taking another medicine to reduce the amount of uric acid in your body, you probably will be able to stop taking colchicine after a while. However, if you stop taking it too soon, your attacks may return or get worse. If you are taking colchicine for certain other medical conditions, you may need to keep taking it for the rest of your life.
- If you are taking colchicine to prevent gout attacks, ask your doctor to recommend other medicine to be taken if an attack occurs. Most people receiving preventive amounts of colchicine should not take extra colchicine to relieve an attack. However, some people cannot take the other medicines that are used for gout attacks and will have to take extra colchicine. If you are one of these people, ask your doctor to tell you the largest amount of colchicine you should take for an attack and how long you should wait before starting to take the smaller preventive amounts again. Be sure to follow these directions carefully.
For patients taking large amounts of colchicine only when needed to relieve an attack:
- Start taking this medicine at the first sign of the attack for best results.
- Stop taking this medicine as soon as the pain is relieved or at the first sign of nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea . Also, stop taking colchicine when you have taken the largest amount that your doctor ordered for each attack, even if the pain is not relieved or none of these side effects occurs.
- The first few times you take colchicine, keep a record of each dose as you take it. Then, whenever stomach upset (nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or diarrhea) occurs, count the number of doses you have taken. The next time you need colchicine, stop taking it before that number of doses is reached. For example, if diarrhea occurs after your fifth dose of medicine, take no more than four doses the next time. If taking fewer doses does not prevent stomach upset from occurring after a few treatments, check with your doctor.
- After taking colchicine tablets to treat an attack, do not take any more colchicine for at least 3 days. Also, after receiving the medicine by injection for an attack, do not take any more colchicine (tablets or injection) for at least 7 days. Elderly patients may have to wait even longer between treatments and should check with their doctor for directions.
- If you are taking colchicine for an attack of gout, and you are also taking other medicine to reduce the amount of uric acid in your body, do not stop taking the other medicine. Continue taking the other medicine as directed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For familial mediterranean fever (FMF):
- Adults and teenagers—1.2 to 2.4 milligrams (mg) given in one or two divided doses a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age—0.9 to 1.8 milligrams (mg) given in one or two divided doses a day.
- Children 4 to 6 years of age—0.3 to 1.8 milligrams (mg) given in one or two divided doses a day.
- Children younger than 4 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For gout attacks:
- Adults—1.2 milligrams (mg) at the first sign of a gout attack, followed by 0.6 mg after one hour. The dose is usually 1.8 mg over a 1 hour period.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For familial mediterranean fever (FMF):
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.