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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 for Colchicine

Depletion or interference Beta-carotene *
Potassium *
Vitamin B12 *
Adverse interaction None known
Side effect reduction/prevention None known
Supportive interaction None known
Reduced drug absorption/bioavailability None known
Other (see text) Sodium

An asterisk (*) next to an item in the summary indicates that the interaction is supported only by weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Interactions with Supplements

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.1, 2

Nutrient malabsorption

Colchicine has been associated with impaired absorption of beta-carotene, fat, lactose (milk sugar), potassium, and sodium.3


  1. Palopoli JJ, Waxman J. Colchicine neuropathy or vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy? N Engl J Med 1987;317:1290 [letter].
  2. Kuncl RW et al. Colchicine neuropathy or vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy? N Engl J Med 1987;317:1290-1 [letter].
  3. Werbach MR. Foundations of Nutritional Medicine. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press, 1997, 223-4 [review].

Last Review: 01-21-2009


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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires August 2010.

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 Interactions with Supplements