Use of colchicine in pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2018 Feb 1;57(2):382-387. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kex353.


Objectives: Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory agent used in the treatment of several rheumatological conditions. The use of colchicine in pregnancy is controversial. The current study aimed to systematically review and meta-analyse the existing data in the literature regarding the safety of colchicine in pregnancy.

Methods: A systematic review was carried out using six electronic databases, identifying all relevant studies where colchicine was administered to pregnant women, and where pregnancy-related outcomes were measured. The primary endpoints were miscarriage and major foetal malformation. Secondary endpoints included birthweight and gestational age at birth.

Results: Four studies were included for meta-analysis. Use of colchicine throughout pregnancy was not associated with an increased incidence of miscarriage or major foetal malformations. The incidence of miscarriage was significantly lower in women who took colchicine compared with those that did not. In women with FMF who took colchicine throughout the pregnancy, there was no significant difference in birthweight or gestational age compared with those who did not take colchicine. When not limited to FMF, colchicine use was associated with a significantly lower birthweight and gestational age compared with a control group including healthy women who did not take colchicine.

Conclusions: Colchicine therapy did not significantly increase the incidence of foetal malformations or miscarriage when taken during pregnancy. Colchicine therapy for FMF should not be withheld on this basis during pregnancy.

Keywords: colchicine; familial Mediterranean fever; foetus; malformation; miscarriage; pregnancy; teratogenesis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / chemically induced
  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Birth Weight
  • Colchicine / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Rheumatic Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Colchicine