Colchicine: old and new

Am J Med. 2015 May;128(5):461-70. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.12.010. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


Although colchicine has been a focus of research, debate, and controversy for thousands of years, the US Food and Drug Administration just approved it in 2009. Over the past decade, advances in the knowledge of colchicine pharmacology, drug safety, and mechanisms of action have led to changes in colchicine dosing and to potential new uses for this very old drug. In this review, we discuss the pharmacologic properties of colchicine and summarize what is currently known about its mechanisms of action. We then discuss and update the use of colchicine in a variety of illnesses, including rheumatic and, most recently, cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Colchicine; Gout; Inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colchicine / administration & dosage
  • Colchicine / metabolism
  • Colchicine / pharmacology*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A / drug effects
  • Drug Interactions
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever / drug therapy
  • Gout Suppressants / administration & dosage
  • Gout Suppressants / metabolism
  • Gout Suppressants / pharmacology
  • Heart Diseases / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Pericarditis / drug therapy
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy
  • Vascular Diseases / prevention & control


  • Gout Suppressants
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A
  • Colchicine