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Colchicine side effects

Almost every medication can cause some side effects. Every person goes through the intake of medicines differently. Some experience severe side effects while others feel none. The usual side effects from the consumption of Colchicine are diarrhea, dizziness, hair loss, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, sore gums and vomiting. Some of the more serious side effects include severe allergic reactions like rash, hives, itching, tightness in chest, swelling of mouth, lips or tongue. Other severe reactions to Colchicine are blood in the urine, chills, dark urine, severe diarrhea, genital, lower back and stomach pain, muscle weakness and numbness. This is not a full list of severe side effects. If a person wants to know more about the side effects he or she can contact a health care provider.

Side effects by body system

GastrointestinalSide effects which are considered to be gastrointestinal are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. These side effects occur quite often. If a person is consuming colchicine prophylaxis for a long period of time he or she may experience symptoms like anorexia, electrolyte disturbance and pancreatitis.

HematologicPancytopenia, leukopenia, agraniocytosis, bone marrow failure and depression, disseminated intravascular coagulation, aplastic anemia and thrombocytopenia are some of the side effects which occur when a person overdoses on colchicine. Thrombocytopenia is rare however and it is connected with myelotoxicity in most cases. Three cases of Heinz-body hemolytic anemia have been reported so far.

Nervous systemMuscle weakness, elevated creatinine phosphokinase, a diffuse on EMG and a vacuolar changes on muscle biopsy which are not inflammatory are the symptoms which are connected with colchicine-induced neuromyopathy most of the time. Conditions such as myopathy, seizures and mental status changes are the side effects which do not occur so often and are connected with the nervous system.

RenalThere was one case with a fatal outcome where acute renal failure was reported in a 78 year old man. He was consuming 0.5 mg of colchicine three times per day for ten straight days. Apart from the acute renal failure the other side effect a person can experience is a case of rapid progressive glomerulonephritis but that is quite rare.

DermatologicSide effects which are considered to be in the dermatologic area are urticaria, alopecia after overuse of colchicine, toxic epidermal necrolysis with concomitant ethanol use, fixed drug eruption, purpura and dermatitis.

GenitourinaryThere was one case where a person was treated with colchicine and he was diagnosed with reversible azoospermia. When he stopped using colchicine his sperm count was good again. This person even fathered two normal children. However, azoospermia is a very rare side effect.

RespiratoryEven though it is rare, a person may suffer from adult respiratory distress syndrome.

MusculoskeletalWeakness, neuropathy and paralysis are some of musculoskeletal side effects.

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