Fatal colchicine overdose: report of a case and review of the literature

Am J Emerg Med. 1998 Oct;16(6):603-8. doi: 10.1016/s0735-6757(98)90228-5.


Colchicine poisoning is an uncommon, but potentially life-threatening, toxicologic emergency. A case is reported of a 21-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department approximately 1 hour after ingesting 30 mg of colchicine in a suicide attempt. Her clinical course included gastrointestinal distress, metabolic acidosis, pancytopenia, hypotension, adult respiratory distress syndrome, rhabdomyolysis, and hypocalcemia. Despite aggressive medical management, the patient suffered a cardiac arrest and died 8 days after the ingestion. The clinical features of colchicine poisoning are highlighted and current therapeutic options are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colchicine / poisoning*
  • Emergency Treatment
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gout Suppressants / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Poisoning / blood
  • Suicide*


  • Gout Suppressants
  • Colchicine