Arthritis Home > Colchicine Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of colchicine include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In most cases, reactions to this medicine are minor and easily treated. While most people do not experience any problems with this medication, serious reactions can also occur. Notify your healthcare provider immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, severe diarrhea, unusual bleeding or bruising, or any other potentially dangerous symptoms.

An Introduction to the Side Effects of Colchicine

As with any medicine, colchicine can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, many people tolerate it quite well.
 
If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common, but do sometimes occur during treatment.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible colchicine side effects. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)
 

Serious Colchicine Side Effects

There are a number of possible side effects with colchicine that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
 
  • Symptoms of muscle or nerve problems, such as:
     
    • Muscle pain
    • Weakness
    • Numbness or tingling, especially in the fingers or toes
 
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising, which may be a symptom of low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia)
  • Pale or gray skin, especially if accompanied by fatigue, which may be a sign of anemia
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting
  • Frequent or severe infections, which may be a sign of low white blood cells
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
     
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Wheezing
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Difficulty breathing.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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