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Colchicine to prevent gout

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you can't take allopurinol because of side effects, or if it doesn't work for you, your doctor may prescribe colchicine to be taken long term. But there's no good evidence to show that this works.

We didn't find any good studies of people taking colchicine alone to prevent gout attacks.

But it does seem to help prevent flare-ups of gout when people take it together with allopurinol. So it might work on its own.

We found one study (a randomised controlled trial) where people took colchicine plus allopurinol. [51] Only a third of the people who took both drugs twice a day had an attack of gout. But more than three-quarters of those who took only allopurinol had gout again within six months.

The gout attacks were less severe for people who took colchicine. The people in the study kept taking colchicine for three months after the urate levels in their blood were down to normal.

Almost 2 out of 5 people who took colchicine in this study had diarrhoea. But the side effects did not cause anyone to stop taking the treatment. [51]

You need to be careful to take only the recommended amount of colchicine. High doses can have dangerous side effects. For more details, see Colchicine for treating an attack of gout.

Glossary

randomised controlled trials

Randomised controlled trials are medical studies designed to test whether a treatment works. Patients are split into groups. One group is given the treatment being tested (for example, an antidepressant drug) while another group (called the comparison or control group) is given an alternative treatment. This could be a different type of drug or a dummy treatment (a placebo). Researchers then compare the effects of the different treatments.

For more terms related to Gout

Citations

For references related to Gout click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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