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).
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
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).
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].
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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