Colchicine revisited

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Sep;1173:766-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04674.x.


Purified from a Mediterranean plant nearly two centuries ago, colchicine has been discovered to inhibit many steps in the inflammatory process. The drug has good oral bioavailability and some enterohepatic recirculation, requiring dose adjustments for kidney disease and avoidance in liver disease. Toxicities are primarily gastrointestinal, hepatic, and hematologic. Colchicine is approved by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration for the treatment and prophylaxis of gout flares but has also been tried with varying success in the treatment of familial Mediterranean fever, primary biliary cirrhosis, psoriasis, Behçet's disease, aphthous stomatitis, linear IgA dermatosis, relapsing polychondritis, Sweet's syndrome, scleroderma, amyloidosis, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, epidermolysis bullosa, and dermatomyositis.

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis / drug therapy
  • Behcet Syndrome
  • Biological Availability
  • Colchicine / chemistry
  • Colchicine / pharmacokinetics
  • Colchicine / therapeutic use*
  • Colchicum / chemistry
  • Dermatomyositis / drug therapy
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / drug therapy
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / drug therapy
  • Gout Suppressants / chemistry
  • Gout Suppressants / pharmacokinetics
  • Gout Suppressants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / drug therapy
  • Molecular Structure
  • Polychondritis, Relapsing / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Stomatitis, Aphthous / drug therapy
  • Sweet Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous / drug therapy


  • Gout Suppressants
  • Colchicine