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Colchicine

Drug Information

Colchicine reduces the inflammatory (swelling) response and pain in people with gout (high uric acid blood levels leading to painful accumulation of uric acid crystals in and around joints).

Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • Beta-Carotene

    Colchicine has been associated with impaired absorption of beta-carotene, fat, lactose (milk sugar), potassium, and sodium.1

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Potassium

    Colchicine has been associated with impaired absorption of beta-carotene, fat, lactose (milk sugar), potassium, and sodium.2

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.
  • Vitamin B12

    Colchicine may interfere with vitamin B12 in the body. Research is inconsistent. Both colchicine and vitamin B12 deficiency are reported to cause neuropathies (disorders of the nervous system), but it remains unclear whether neuropathies caused by colchicine could be due to vitamin B12 depletion.3 , 4

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Reduce Side Effects

  • none

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • Teas and Herbs with Tannin

    Tannins are a group of unrelated chemicals that give plants an astringent taste. Herbs with large amounts of tannins may interfere with the absorption of codeine and should not be taken together with codeine or codeine-containing products.5 Herbs containing high levels of tannins include green tea (Camellia sinensis), black tea, uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), black walnut (Juglans nigra), red raspberry (Rubus idaeus), oak (Quercus spp.), and witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana).

    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Potential Negative Interaction

  • none

Explanation Required 

  • Sodium

    Colchicine has been associated with impaired absorption of beta-carotene, fat, lactose (milk sugar), potassium, and sodium.6

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

References

1. Werbach MR. Foundations of Nutritional Medicine. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 1997, 223–4 [review].

2. Werbach MR. Foundations of Nutritional Medicine. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 1997, 223–4 [review].

3. Palopoli JJ, Waxman J. Colchicine neuropathy or vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy? N Engl J Med 1987;317:1290 [letter].

4. Kuncl RW et al. Colchicine neuropathy or vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy? N Engl J Med 1987;317:1290–1 [letter].

5. Brinker F. Interactions of pharmaceutical and botanical medicines. J Naturopathic Med 1997;7(2):14–20.

6. Werbach MR. Foundations of Nutritional Medicine. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 1997, 223–4 [review].

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