Foods To Avoid When Taking Colchicine
Colchicine is a drug prescribed to mitigate the chances of gout attacks. Gout attacks, which are severe and abrupt pains arising from abnormal levels of uric acid in the blood, can become unbearable without proper medication.
Although the formulation of colchicine predates FDA regulations that were mandatory, not all instances of use have the approval of the regulatory body. Still, most manufacturers today have the relevant approvals to market the sale of the drug under certified prescriptions.
How does colchicine work?
Colchicine, also sold under the brand name Colcrys, alters the human body’s response to uric acid crystals that enter the system. The drug reduces the level of this chemical in the blood allowing swelling and pain to recede. It is available in both liquid and capsule forms, and it is generally consumed orally. You can find out more about how it works here.
Because of how it works, there are certain foods to avoid when taking colchicine. Physicians prescribe this drug to treat various ailments, including Familial Mediterranean Fever, gout flares, and also symptoms of Behcet’s Syndrome.
Which foods to avoid when taking colchicine?
Colchicine enables the human body to reduce uric acid levels in the bloodstream. However, doctors recommend an alteration in the diet when a patient is taking colchicine.
One of the main foods to avoid when taking colchicine is grapefruit and any derivatives of it, like fresh juice. The nutrients in grapefruit block the action of the enzyme that breaks down colchicine, rendering it ineffective.
If grapefruit or its juice is taken together with colchicine, it can result in high levels of the drug remaining in the system. This can cause swelling and pain to increase even when the prescribed medication is consumed. There is also a risk of further discomfort and damage because the fruit hampers treatment. Patients must consult their doctor in case any other dietary changes are required for the drug to work efficiently. The precautions can vary from person to person, depending on individual conditions.
Are there any other foods to avoid when taking colchicine?
The answer to this question can vary. Only a certified physician can determine the complete list of foods to avoid when taking colchicine. Still, certain medications can interact with colchicine and hinder its function. For instance, high cholesterol medications like Statins, simvastatin, and lovastatin can combine with colchicine to elevate existing symptoms like muscle pain. Similarly, it is better to avoid azole antifungals, calcium channel blockers, and protease inhibitors when taking colchicine.
What are some of the side effects of colchicine?
Like any other drug, there can be many side effects aside from foods to avoid when taking colchicine. The effects can differ from one individual to the other.
Some of the side effects are nominal, like occasional cramps, stomach aches, vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea. Others can be more serious, including paleness of palms, lips or tongue, signs of infection like fever, sore throat and chills, muscle weakness and pain, fatigue, unusual bleeding or random bruising, and numbness.
Patients must inform their physician about any pre-existing conditions before taking a prescription for colchicine. At times, the drug can elevate symptoms of diseases that are already present in the body.
There are also small chances of colchicine causing a drop in fertility among men. As a result, it is imperative to consult a certified physician before taking the drug. It is important to refrain from self-prescribing colchicine at any cost.
Which pre-existing conditions are dangerous for colchicine?
Patients with an existing condition are often under advisement to take medications carefully. It is a requirement for them to only consume drugs after a proper prescription. Physicians generally advise people to avoid colchicine if they currently have or suffer from liver or kidney disease. Moreover, patients who consume digoxin or cholesterol-lowering drugs must avoid colchicine at all costs. In the absence of proper supervision, any medication can cause more harm than good.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is orange also one of the foods to avoid when taking colchicine?
Studies show that Seville orange juice is well tolerated even when taken in combination with colchicine.
Is it advisable to consume colchicine on an empty stomach?
Physicians advise that colchicine may be taken with or without food in your stomach. It is also important to note that patients who take colchicine regularly must take their dose, even if they are feeling better.
When to not take colchicine?
When to not take colchicine?
Patients suffering from acute renal or hepatic impairment must avoid colchicine at all costs. Also, people with concomitant diseases of the hepatic or renal system should stay away from colchicine.
What is the best time to take colchicine?
Generally, the first dose of colchicine needs to be taken when pain first arises. The smaller, second dose is usually taken an hour after the initial one.
In summary, here are the foods to avoid when taking colchicine
Colchicine is a prescription medication that eases the symptoms of gout attacks in adults. It can treat other diseases as well. However, grapefruit and grapefruit juice are the foods to avoid when taking colchicine. These foods hinder the human body’s ability to break down colchicine, allowing it to accumulate in the bloodstream. This leads to the elevation of gout symptoms rather than easing them.