• Eldad Ben-ChetritEmail author


Colchicine is an alkaloid which was originally extracted from bulbs of a plant called Colchicum autumnale (meadow saffron). Its active pharmacological component was isolated in 1820 and in 1833 the active ingredient was purified and named colchicine. It consists of three hexameric rings termed A, B, and C. It was first recommended for the treatment of gout by Alexander of Tralles in the sixth century AD. Later it has been employed for suggested and approved indications including primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), alcohol induced hepatitis, psoriasis, Behçet disease, Sweet syndrome, scleroderma, sarcoidosis and amyloidosis. Perhaps the most effective results have been obtained in the prophylaxis of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Colchicine is absorbed in the jejunum and ileum and is trapped in the body tissues. It is metabolized in the liver and the intestine by cytochrome P (CYP) 450 3A4 and P-glycoprotein (PGY) 1. Colchicine is excreted mainly by the biliary system, intestines and the kidneys. It has a narrow therapeutic range, but with normal liver and kidney functions is relatively safe and can be used during pregnancy, nursing and in infants. The main mechanism of action of colchicine is probably through interaction with microtubules affecting leukocyte chemotaxis, thereby suppressing inflammation. The blood level of colchicine may be affected by concomitant drug administration and therefore, caution should be exercised when such medications are added.


Colchicine Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) Gout Inflammasome 



ATP-binding cassette subfamily B member 1


Acute Gout Flare Receiving Colchicine Evaluation


Adult respiratory distress syndrome


COlchicine for the Prevention of the Post-pericardiotomy syndrome


C-reactive protein


Disseminated intravascular coagulation


Extended release


European League Against Rheumatism


Food and Drug Administration


Familial Mediterranean fever


Guanine nucleotide exchange factor


Hepatic cell carcinoma


High performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry




Insulin-like growth factor 1




Multiple drug resistant 1


Monosodium urate


NOD receptor family pyrin 3


Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain


Pyrin associated autoinflammatory disease with neutrophilic dermatosis


Primary biliary cirrhosis


P-glycoprotein 1


Protein kinases


Pattern recognition receptor


Rat sarcoma homolog gene family, member A


Serum amyloid A


Transforming growth factor


Tumor necrosis factor


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FMF Center, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael

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