Colchicine Drug Interaction Errors and Misunderstandings: Recommendations for Improved Evidence-Based Management

Philip D. Hansten, Malinda S. Tan, John R. Horn, Ainhoa Gomez-Lumbreras, Lorenzo Villa-Zapata, Richard D. Boyce, Vignesh Subbian, Andrew Romero, Sheila Gephart, Daniel C. Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Colchicine is useful for the prevention and treatment of gout and a variety of other disorders. It is a substrate for CYP3A4 and P-glycoprotein (P-gp), and concomitant administration with CYP3A4/P-gp inhibitors can cause life-threatening drug–drug interactions (DDIs) such as pancytopenia, multiorgan failure, and cardiac arrhythmias. Colchicine can also cause myotoxicity, and coadministration with other myotoxic drugs may increase the risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Many sources of DDI information including journal publications, product labels, and online sources have errors or misleading statements regarding which drugs interact with colchicine, as well as suboptimal recommendations for managing the DDIs to minimize patient harm. Furthermore, assessment of the clinical importance of specific colchicine DDIs can vary dramatically from one source to another. In this paper we provide an evidence-based evaluation of which drugs can be expected to interact with colchicine, and which drugs have been stated to interact with colchicine but are unlikely to do so. Based on these evaluations we suggest management options for reducing the risk of potentially severe adverse outcomes from colchicine DDIs. The common recommendation to reduce the dose of colchicine when given with CYP3A4/P-gp inhibitors is likely to result in colchicine toxicity in some patients and therapeutic failure in others. A comprehensive evaluation of the almost 100 reported cases of colchicine DDIs is included in table form in the electronic supplementary material. Colchicine is a valuable drug, but improvements in the information about colchicine DDIs are needed in order to minimize the risk of serious adverse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-242
Number of pages20
JournalDrug Safety
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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