Colchicine toxicity in end-stage renal disease patients: a case-control study

Am J Ther. 2014 Nov-Dec;21(6):e189-95. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31825a364a.


Colchicine has been used in a number of disorders. Because colchicine is partially excreted from the kidney, there is a need for dose reduction in case of renal functional impairment. There are no data with regards to safe dosing schedule of colchicine in hemodialysis patients. We aimed to evaluate adverse effects of colchicine use in a hemodialysis cohort. We screened hemodialysis patients who were using colchicine for any reason. All patients were interviewed regarding possible toxicities of colchicine use and were examined with a special focus on neuromuscular system. Creatine kinase and myoglobin were used to detect any subclinical muscle injury or rhabdomyolysis, respectively. Twenty-two maintenance hemodialysis patients who were on colchicine for more than 6 months and 20 control hemodialysis patients not using colchicine were included in the study. Four of 22 patients were using 0.5 mg/day, 4 patients were using 1.5 mg/day, and 14 patients were using 1 mg/day colchicine. Mean duration for colchicine use was 8.9±8.2 years. There was no difference between the groups in terms of myoneuropathic signs and symptoms and blood counts except for white blood cell count, which was significantly higher in patients on colchicine. Serum creatine kinase (56.3±39.5 and 52.1±36.1 for colchicine and control groups, respectively, P=0.72) and myoglobin (191.4±108.8 and 214.6±83.5 for colchicine and control groups, respectively, P=0.44) levels were not different between the groups. We conclude that in a small number of haemodialysis patients who were apparently tolerating colchicine, detailed assessment revealed no evidence of sublinical toxicity when compared with controls.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colchicine / administration & dosage
  • Colchicine / adverse effects*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Female
  • Gout Suppressants / administration & dosage
  • Gout Suppressants / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Renal Dialysis*


  • Gout Suppressants
  • Myoglobin
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Colchicine