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Facts About Colchicines

What Exactly is Gout?

Over 2 million individuals, mainly men near middle age, suffer from gout in the United States alone. Some doctors suggest that lack of exercise and an improper diet are to blame for gout, with other doctors proposing the culprit as hereditary, brought on by the consumption of purine-rich foods, though both sides agree that a diet high in purines exacerbates the disease.

Gout is caused by the consistent buildup of too much uric acid or hyperuricemia in the blood and joints. When the body’s normal waste removal systems can’t keep up with the amount of debris being built up, then gout—a type of arthritis affecting the ankle, knee, wrist, hand, elbow, foot, usually starting in the big toe—can set in, typically in only one joint at a time.

What is Colchicines?

Colchicines has verified uses from as early as 1 AD and substantiated positive anit-inflammatory results from as early as 1810. The ancient treatment of this Cochicum alkaloid—extracted from the dried seeds of Cochicum autumnale, a.k.a. autumn crocus or meadow saffron—was used against articular (joint and articular cartiledge) discomfort.

Colchicines is used to ward off gout because of its anti-inflammatory value. Used to help rid gout sufferers of their pain, it is not effective against all types of gouty soreness and is not analgesic, thereby not ridding the body of uric acid. Available in both oral and intravenous dosages, Colchicines has also been used in the treatment for Behcet’s disease, familial Mediterranean fever, Paget’s disease, pericarditis, pseudogout, dermatitis and amyloidosis.

How Does Colchicines Work?

Colchicines are often the drug of choice in treating gout patients. Colchicines attaches to proteins in microtubules of neutrophils (white blood cells). Because gout is caused by the urate crystals deposition in joints causing inflammation, the securing affects of Colchicines inhibits the release of inflammatory glycoprotein from phagocyte cells (the cells capable of engulfing and absorbing bacteria and smaller particles). The seemingly anti-gout hallmarks of Colchicines are derived from the drug’s disruption of mitotic spindle and sol-gel formations in the body.

What is the History of Colchicines?

Colchicines became available by the FDA and therefore permissible to dispense by pharmacists in December of 1939. As said, the drug derived from Cochicum autumnale from centuries ago has been around for more than two centuries but only widely available in tablet form in Western countries since the mid-1900s. Colchicines first documented treatment was in the book De Materia Medica by the ancient Greek physician Padanius Dioscorides in 1 CE. First isolated by two French chemists in 1820, it was shown to be a tricylic alkaloid and later affirmed as an anti-inflammatory.

What are Common Colchicines Side Effects?

Most side effects of Colchicines are related to the amount of dosage taken, either intravenously or in oral form. Moreover, these side effects are often stomach and bowel related, including vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea and gastro-intestinal neutropenia. Other reported long-term side effects are bone marrow impairment, anemia, lower white blood cell count, thereby causing infections, accompanied with hair loss, myopathy, weakness and nerve irritation. Intensified side effects are suppression of respiratory center, hypertension, decreased core body temperature, and with overdose, possible death.

The FDA has not reported any recalls on Colchicines, though scores of doctors recommend not taking it intravenously, as it can be immediately toxic. At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC, 2005) these detrimental effects may be moderate to severe: spanning minute gastrointestinal upset (and abovementioned associating factors) to severe bone marrow suppression, infection and even death.

What is Colchicines Dosage and Cost?

The Colchicines dosage varies from .5 mg to .6 mg or given intravenously. This regular dosage, given three to four days per week, is for individuals who suffer one gout attack or less per year. If individuals are afflicted more than one time per year, the dosage is the same, except given daily.

The oral Colchicines tablet is also quickly absorbed with peak absorption transpiring about 30 minutes to two hours after swallowed. The anti-inflammatory effects occur 12 to 48 hours after ingestion. Though the swelling may not immediately dissipate, some swelling should subdue after three days. Most long-term absorption takes place in the leukocytes and can be found for 10 or more days after administration.

There are prescription and generic versions available by the same name. The costs vary from $75 USD to $150 USD for 100 tablets for branded Colchicines, while the generic ranges from $30 USD to $100 USD for 100 tablets. Depending on the country of purchase, most pills come in the .5 mg measure. 

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The FDA controls the manufacturing processes for Colchicines and a doctor’s prescription is required for purchases.
We are not associated with the FDA.
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