How Does Colchicine Treat Gout?


Quick Answer

Colchicine treats gout by stopping inflammation that uric acid crystals cause. It does not reduce uric acid levels in the body, but it has long been a source of relief for attacks of gout, especially for people who are unable to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

To facilitate the reduction and amelioration of gout attacks that happen when levels of uric acid fluctuate rapidly, patients can take colchicine when they take medications designed to lower those acid levels, such as xanthine oxidase inhibitors, sulfinpyrazone or probenecid. People with liver disease, kidney disease, white blood cell deficiency or inflammatory bowel disease should use colchicine with care or avoid it altogether, as stated by WebMD.

Colchicine generally relieves the discomfort of a gout attack within 12 to 24 hours; however, colchicine comes with some side effects. While many people find them unnoticeable or generally tolerable, others may notice more significant effects among those listed in the packaging on the prescription. If they worsen to a point where the patient considers stopping the medication, he should contact his physician first as lowering the dosage may be a better option. People who encounter difficulty breathing or swelling of the throat, tongue, lips or face should seek emergency medical services immediately, reports WebMD.

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