Safety of colchicine therapy during pregnancy

Can Fam Physician. 2003 Aug:49:967-9.


Question: A 27-year-old patient in our clinic with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) has been treated with colchicine for the last decade. She is planning her first pregnancy. What recommendations should we give her regarding use of colchicine before and during pregnancy, bearing in mind that discontinuation of colchicine could lead to complications from amyloidosis?

Answer: Colchicine passes through the placenta in humans, is teratogenic in animals, and raises rates of male and female infertility. Based on several patients with chromosomal anomalies, some authorities recommend that patients who require colchicine therapy during pregnancy undergo amniocentesis with karyotyping. In contrast, an increasing body of evidence suggests that colchicine use throughout pregnancy carries no substantial teratogenic or mutagenic risk when used at recommended doses. Its use prevents febrile attacks of FMF and reduces the frequency of renal complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis, Familial / etiology
  • Amyloidosis, Familial / prevention & control*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Colchicine / therapeutic use*
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / complications
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Colchicine