Colchicine, whose term in the IUPAC nomenclature is: 7-acetamido-6,7-dihydro-1,2,3,10-tetramethoxybenzo [a] heptalen-9 (5H) -one and whose brute or molecular formula is: C22H25NO6, is an alkaloid that is found and can be extracted in plants of the genus Colchicum (especially Colchicum autumnale) but is also present in plants of the genus Gloriosa, Androcymbium and Merendera.
Its chemical structure was definitively identified only in 1955 by H. Corrodi, E. Hardegger. Colchicine comes in the form of a yellowish, odorless, crystalline or amorphous powder and is very soluble in chloroform, ethanol and water.
Colchicine is currently used for the treatment of gout but, according to some research, seems to be useful in various syndromes with phlogistic phenomena. Furthermore, colchicine is used to alleviate the symptoms of “Familial Mediterranean Fever” (FMF), an autoinflammatory disease belonging to the “Periodic Fever” (FP) category.
Furthermore, in recent years, colchicine has been used, at the cardiological level, in the treatment of pericarditis and in the prevention of recurrences of this pericardial inflammatory process (such as Dressler’s Syndrome).
In the case of gout, the mechanism of action of colchicine is not yet known, although it is hypothesized that by acting on certain proteins inside the body it can alleviate the symptoms of gout.
Colchicine is generally taken orally in the form of tablets or capsules. However, it can also be administered via injections directly into a vein.
Among the side effects, in the use of colchicine, we recall that this alkaloid can make you more sensitive to infections. For this reason it is important to avoid contact with people suffering from infectious diseases and to inform the doctor in case of fever, sore throat, rash or chills.
Furthermore, the drug can lower platelets, exposing you to a greater risk of bruising and bleeding.
Other possible side effects of using colchicine include: diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and vomiting.
It is therefore advisable to contact a doctor immediately, in the event of the presence or symptoms of: rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue, pain, sensitivity or weakness in the muscles ( with or without fever or fatigue), numbness or tingling in the fingers of hands or feet, lips, tongue or palms of pale or gray hands, unusual tiredness or weakness.
Furthermore, colchicine should not be taken if you have liver or kidney problems and are taking some specific medications.
Another recommendation is that you should not eat grapefruit or drink its juice during treatment with this alkaloid.
Also before starting to take colchicine it is important to inform your doctor: of any allergies to the active ingredient, its excipients or any other drug or foodstuff of other medicines, herbal medicines and supplements that you are taking. Same foresight if you suffer (or have suffered) from liver or kidney problems or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Warning: The information given is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.