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Taking an overdose of colchicine could potentially cause serious problems, even death. Possible symptoms of taking too much colchicine include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you believe you have overdosed on this drug. Treatment may include pumping the stomach and providing supportive care.

Can You Take Too Much Colchicine?

Colchicine is a prescription medication most often used for gout treatment. A colchicine overdose can be very dangerous, even fatal. The specific effects of an overdose would likely vary, depending on a number of factors, including the colchicine dosage, the particular form of the medication, and whether it was taken with any other medications or substances.
Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else may have intentionally or accidentally overdosed on colchicine.

Effects of an Overdose

Early symptoms of a colchicine overdose (seen in the first 24 hours) might include:
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration.
Life-threatening complications (such as multi-organ failure, inadequate breathing, or death) typically occur 24 to 72 hours after the overdose. For survivors, hair loss sometimes occurs, often starting about one week after the overdose.

Treatment for a Colchicine Overdose

If the overdose of colchicine was recent and was taken by mouth, a healthcare provider may "pump the stomach." Treatment also involves supportive and symptomatic care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. Dialysis is not expected to be helpful for removing colchicine from the bloodstream.
It is essential to seek prompt medical attention in the case of a suspected colchicine overdose.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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