How Fast Does Colchicine Work?

About GoutPal’s Old Gout Forum Forums Please Help My Gout! How Fast Does Colchicine Work?

This topic contains 35 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  KeithTaylor 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #3500

    Newbflat
    Participant

    [GoutPal Admin] This discussion about Colcrys and indomethacin is now closed. I will summarize the key points here, with links to relevant gout topics. Please follow these links, or continue reading the original discussion below.

    The main gout questions covered in this discussion are:

    How long does it take for Colcrys (colchicine) to work/take effect?
    This is one of the Common Colchicine (Colcrys) Questions. All the information you need to understand how fast Colcrys works is at that link.
    Can you take Colcrys (colchicine) and indomethacin (or other NSAIDs) together?
    Yes, the best way to control gout pain fast is to support Colcrys with an anti-inflammatory. In extreme cases you might need further support from a general analgesic. You must always consult a doctor or pharmacist about the best combination for you, making sure you tell them about any allergies, and any other medicines or supplements that you take. For more information, see Gout Pain Freedom

    If you still have questions after reading the information linked to above, please start a new topic in this forum.

    Leave Colcrys and indomethacin discussion to browse the Gout Treatment guidelines


    Hi all, Bill from Seattle here…

    So this is my first post and like many first posts I have read here, I too am in a state of panic. My foot is KILLING me right now. It’s like my toe is going to explode, or it’s being crushed or stabbed or all of those at once.  I have had 15 broken bones in my life including my femur, both wrists, nose twice.. etc  And this matches them for pain when its bad. Actually, it feels just like a broken bone.

    I had my first flare up 2 months ago and I diagnosed it as gout myself. It hurt but went away in 4 days so I forgot about it.  Friday night it started again and by the next day, it was unbearable. This was a whole new thing and several orders of magnitude more painful. I found this site on Sunday and have been reading nonstop. I started taking Ibuprofen and made a doctors appointment at a foot and ankle specialist for Wednesday.  The doc prescribed Indomethacine  50mg 3 times a day for 3 days then reducing dosage over the rest of the week. Then I need to go to my GP and get a blood test a UA test….. then go from there.

    I know it’s not long, 50 mg 5 times (1 1/2 days) now but damn… it’s like I’m taking nothing. I’m drinking water like a fish and out of desperation just did 1/2 teaspoon BS in hopes it will take the edge off some time tonight so I can sleep. Being bedridden for 6 days now and I’m going insane… or at least a bit more than I normally am.

    Anyways… how long does this stuff take to work?… I tolerate it fine, is there anything better?

    So.. I’m a slow typer and this took me 2 hours to write (not all at once, i'm not that slow)  But I feel like that BS really helped. About 1 hour after I took it my foot calmed down a lot and quite abruptly… first time in 8 hours it hasn’t been very painful and before it abruptly stopped it was just getting worse. I know it might just be the drugs finally kicking in (please), something else or the placebo effect (I’ll take it!!)….. If its the BC, God bless Arm & hammer.


    How long does it take for colchicine to work?

    How long does it take for colchicine to work?

    #11052

    toofast
    Participant

    Welcome Bill…

     

    I know what you are going through…so at least you are on the right track for future fixin…

     

    As for now…6 days is a long attack, sure it is a combination of everything starting to work for you, the length of time, water, baking soda, etc….so glad this session is almost over.

     

    I too started with a foot and ankle guy…but his meds were just short term relieve…get your Uric Acid results and then take it from there…depending on what they are will depend the next step.

     

    If they are slightly elevated…6-7 and this is only your second attack…you could try diet, water, etc for long term care and see what happens.  But we don't know your general heatlh, i.e. age, weight, drinking, etc.

     

    If your UA is way high, say 8-10's….guess is only meds will help. 

     

    Good luck and keep us informed.

    #11053

    MyFootHurts
    Participant

    I was in your position last summer.  I was crippled and unable to walk for two weeks.  Indomethacin was nearly useless.

    When I finally made it to the doctor I requested prednisone, a cortisteroid.  It had me walking in less than 24 hours.  A miracle.

    Later I got my uric acid under control with allopurinol and things are pretty good now.

    Don't let the doctor brush off your gout with some wimpy NSAIDs or pain pills.  Your attack is severe.  Get the inflammation down now with a brief course of cortisteroids (assuming, of course, your doctor approves).  Then work on managing your uric acid.

    BTW I have prednisone here awaiting my next severe attack.  Luckily it appears I will never need to take it.  It's powerful stuff.

    As for what you can do right now, without a doctor… not much.  Elevating the foot helps.  Ice will relieve some of the swelling and pain, but probably makes gout worse in the long term (we like to argue about that here).  Heat helps a bit (not as much as ice in my experience) and likely is not harmful longterm goutwise.

    Cherries and Black Bean Broth are supposed to help.  I did both, but can't honestly say they did much good.  At least the cherries taste good.  Lots of water helps, but frequent urination can be difficult when you can't walk.

    We've all been where you are.  Good luck.

    #11057

    woodrow
    Participant

    Hi Bill, I am also a new member.  I had my worst attack last week in my knee and it's lasted a week.  No sleep – constant pain.  My brother who is a FNP wrote a scrip for MethyIPREDNIsolone (steroid) and one for Tramadol (pain). It wasn't but a few hours and I felt immediate relief.  I still have a small twinge in the knee but no pain.  I lost my head a few weeks ago and ingested lots of meat and beer.  Plus I was snacking on chips and hummus.  Bad news.  This kind of pain will keep me honest from now on.

    #11061

    zip2play
    Participant

    Remember Bill,
    It will be long term loweing of your uric acid with allopurinol (or other uric acid lowering drugs) which will stop these attacks.

    For pain relief I think nothing beats colchicine but I am loathe to recommend it because of the hideous price of a colchicine dose.

    #11070

    Newbflat
    Participant

    First…..Thank you everyone for all the suggestions and encouragement!!  I'm 1.5 days into a prescription of Prednisone now and my foot was 85% better in 12 hours…. I can walk on it and wear a shoe. Considering how much pain i was in just 12 hours before… it feels sort of miraculous.

    I was referred to a GP that i like very much and who seems to be well informed about gout and current gout treatment. At the moment I'm waiting for my attack to go away before getting a UA and blood work up.  Since this was only my second attack he suggested to try and control it with good diet and most importantly small portion size/ caloric intake and hydration. I could use to loose 30lbs so this is my plane of attack anyways. I'm to keep my bottle of Indomethacine handy and to start in at the first sine of foot pain. If i have another bout he will prescribe Allopurninal and start the process of getting the dosage right.  If my UA test comes back very high he will just go ahead head with the Allopurinal.

    Questions….
    1… Has anyone had any luck with controlling there gout with weight loss and lower caloric intake alone?…  What about  weight loss, caloric intake and baking soda? I realize there are many factors involved… just curious.

    2… Because UA tests are unreliable during an attack, how long do i need to wait before being tested to get an accurate reading after the attack? Also what should i do or not do to get an accurate reading?

    3… I am heading to Mexico in a month for two weeks and I'm wondering what kind of medication to take with me (assuming that I'm not on Allopurinal).  Indomethacine didn't help at all when started mid attack, but the Doc thought it would if i was to catch it just as it started. At the moment im thinking of taking Indomethacine and a course of Prednisone just in case…. any additions or thought?

    As a side note nothing in this world seems to come without a trade off and in my case I'm typing this at 4:00 in the morning thanks to Prednisone induced insomnia………… but my foot doesn't hurt!

     

    Bill…

    #11071

    zip2play
    Participant

    1. Has anyone had any luck with controlling there gout with weight loss and lower caloric intake alone?…  What about  weight loss, caloric intake and baking soda? I realize there are many factors involved… just curious.

    I'm sure there are SOME but they are few and far between. The percentage is probably close to those who can control  their diabetes without meds.

     

    2.… Because UA tests are unreliable during an attack, how long do i need to wait before being tested to get an accurate reading after the attack? Also what should i do or not do to get an accurate reading?

     

    Have one done ASAP. Uric acid fluctuates a lot over a day or a week so no reading is going to be the perfect one. Generally during an attack, serum UA is lowered because of the precipitaion, but still a reading is worthwhile because if it is STILL high, it is uselful information. So have as many done as your insurance company will bear.

     

    3… I am heading to Mexico in a month for two weeks and I'm wondering what kind of medication to take with me (assuming that I'm not on Allopurinal).  Indomethacin didn't help at all when started mid attack, but the Doc thought it would if i was to catch it just as it started. At the moment im thinking of taking Indomethacin and a course of Prednisone just in case…. any additions or thought?

     

    Colchicine. But better than bringing it, BUY IT in Mexico. And get about 200 tabs to see you through the next decade. I don't think you need a prescription and I'm sure the Mexican goverment hasn't fallen for the COLCRYS/FDA ripoff.

    #11073

    Newbflat
    Participant

    By the way… I’m 45 years old 5' 10″ and 205lbs / 92kilos (or 14 stone 9 lbs for you Limeys)  and should be about 170 lbs / 77 kilos  (12 stone 2 lbs)
    I have psoriasis which might add to the problem. Eat a generally healthy diet with little to no processed foods, no soft drinks and drink in moderation. Was a beer drinker but over the last year Bourbon  averaging  1-2 ounces a night over a week.
    I most likely could use to eat less meat and more salad greens but i really don't eat that much. Mostly for flavoring and and no big cuts of meat like steak or roasts.
    If anything i eat to many carbohydrates, mostly in pasta and beans….. i LOVE them both. Over all i think my diet is above average in quality but could be a bit better…. i just eat to much. I could reluctantly give up what meat i eat but the idea of giving up pasta and especially beans…. That I'm having a very hard time with. [admin: for more beans and gout information, please see Natural Remedy For Gout (Black Beans) and Gout and Edamame Beans

    Health wise I'm ok…  but not great. I have a leg issue that has kept me off my bike for 5 years and that is killing me. I use to rise 200 miles a week. I also was an avid Kayaker both white water and sea kayaking and now am suffering from shoulder injuries that I'm working on. I turned 40 and fell apart. I went from a muscular 170lbs to flabby 210 in 5 years and have become a slug, couch potato. Without the use of my shoulders (i think i can get these working again) and my leg ( might never work right again) its very hard to get exercise. Cant swim, ride a bike or walk more than around the block……. Im SURE this is a contributing factor to my Gout…

    #11076

    MyFootHurts
    Participant

    If you attempt to control your SUA through diet and exercise alone, it is imperative that you monitor your uric level closely.  The absence of gout pain does not necessarily mean things are OK.

     

    You should get a uric acid test kit and use it several times a week.  If you're not consistently below 6 mg/dL, then all the diet and exercise in the world will not prevent increasingly frequent and severe attacks.

     

    I second the recommendation of colchicine to nip little gout flares in the bud.  Taking it to stop a severe attack can be problematical, though.

    #11082

    zip2play
    Participant

    I second the recommendation of colchicine to nip little gout flares in the bud.  Taking it to stop a severe attack can be problematical, though.

     

    I find it works every bit as well on an extreme or long acting attacks except that the dosage has to be proportional to the attack. It doesn't work very well for chronic tophaceous gout where, I believe, the continuous dull pain is caused more by joint destruction.

    Yes, severe diarrhea is a given with larger doses, but most sufferers will judge that a minor annoyance compared to a full blown gout attack.

    #11089

    Newbflat
    Participant

    So.. I have been on oral Prednisone for three days and have 2 1/2 days left on the corse. It reduced my pain and swelling drastically in 12 hours. I'm wondering about the next few days though. At the moment i can walk with a bit of a limp and my toe hurts if i bend or bang it and after i walk much, buts its tolerable. But really its no better than 12 hours after i started taking the Prednasone.  Seeing that i only have a few days left to get this under control and the corse is tapering off rapidly, I'm a bit concerned that it wont.

    My question is… what do i do on Wednesday night when finish my course if i still have pain?…… Do i start taking the Indomethecine again?… Neproxen?  Take  Colchicine and make a cozy area in the bathroom?  Talk to the Doc tomorrow with my concerns  and see what he says? (yes, i know this is the correct answer). Im just curious about other peoples experiences here.

    #11090

    MyFootHurts
    Participant

    Wait and see what happens.  I was on 24 mg per day, tapering over six days.  When it ran out, my gout came back real bad again.  Then I got 40 mg per day, tapering over two weeks.

     

    That was all I needed, though it took months for my knees to return to anything like normal.

     

    If your gout comes back real bad, a longer, stronger course of prednisone might be needed.  If it's painful but manageable (you can walk) you should probably forgo the prednisone and see how you fare with colchicine.

    You and your doctor can decide.

    #11100

    Newbflat
    Participant

    Hi all….

    So if i get my UA levels tested now, there is the possibility of a false negative/ low UA level result.  It it posable to have a false high?

    In other words, if i get tested and have a low UA reading my doc might say lets wait and see. If i get a hi reading..?  If you get a hi reading when you having an attack does it mean you WILL have high UA 2 weeks later? is it a guarantee of a high UA problem?…. or is there no fast rule here.

    Im just curious because i want to make the tests i take to count as much a possible. I'm paying for all this out of pocket and i foresee quite a few tests/ expences in the future.

    I want to get a Home UA tester kit but there quite steep in price. Are there any available in the USA?.. or are they all from they UK? Is one type better than another?

    Thanks for all the help here.

    #11104

    zip2play
    Participant

    My question is… what do i do on Wednesday night when finish my course if i still have pain?…… Do i start taking the Indomethecine again?… Neproxen?  Take  Colchicine and make a cozy area in the bathroom?  Talk to the Doc tomorrow with my concerns  and see what he says? (yes, i know this is the correct answer). Im just curious about other peoples experiences here.

     

    I would put them in this order:

    1. colchicine

    2. indomethacin

    3. naproxyn

    4. see doctor again 

    So if i get my UA levels tested now, there is the possibility of a false negative/ low UA level result.  It it posable to have a false high?

     

    There's no absolutely right answer, it's usually not a clear positive or negative. Uric acid swings a lot…think of it like blood pressure. You don't want to give any one reading too much credence.

    #11138

    Newbflat
    Participant

    My progress seems to have halted. I finished my corse of Prednisone but before i did i called the Doc and told him the pain wasn't gone yet. He prescribed me a continued corse of 2 pills for 5 days then 1 for 5 days. Im on my second day of 2 pills and my toe has become more painful tonight.  I took 2 now before bed hoping to head off any stronger pain and I'm crossing my fingers it works.

    Tomorrow im going to call him and ask for colchicine to see if that works…
    I'm over two weeks into this and I'm getting very tired of it and need to get a handle on it. Im leaving for Mexico in 3 weeks and i need to be able to walk.

    Colgout is what i would guess he would prescribe unless the pharmacy has and generic laying around. I have a couple of questions..

    Is the dosage and instructions the same with Colgout as colchicine?…. I seem to remember reading something about them being different.

    Seeing as I'm not having a BAD attack (at least at the moment ) what would be a typical dosage /corse. My toe has been pain free unless i bent it or bump it… even very lightly. But tonight its beginning to feel sore just sitting here.

    What is considered the end of an attack so i can start taking Allopurinal….  pain free?…. a little sore?

    Thanks for you help again… Forums like this are real life savers.

    #11011

    zip2play
    Participant

    I would start taking the allopurinol now…sometimes completely pain free is hard to achieve.

     

    From what you describe, a LONG attack that is now not very painful I would guesstimate that 6 colchicine might do the trick. But thats GUESSTIMATE and MIGHT. You might consider taking one an hour until you judge yourself to be pain free, diarrhea hits, or you hit 16. This presumes you don't need to pay $5 a pill for Colcrys.

    The best test for colchicine dosage is pain relief and in that people and attacks differ wildly.

     

    But seriously be mindful of the possibilities of getting colchicine in Mexico. But then a lot depends on whether the Indian manufacturers are still making it now that they have been effectively closed out of the U.S. market. Can anyone spell HYPOCRISY as it relates to U.S. “free trade” policy?

    #8374

    azasadny
    Participant

    How are you doing? What's your SUA?

    #11143

    Newbflat
    Participant

    Up date…

    After my gout started to flare up again i took an extra prednisone and that kept it away for the night (see above). The next day the stand in Doc (my Doc on vacation) starts me on a new full Prednisone prescription and said that i would need to talk to my regular Doc when he gets back for Colchicine.

    Im in the middle of the prednisone prescription now and the pain is slowly coming back after being almost gone after the first big Prednisone dose. Luckily i had an appointment with the Doc  today and he gave me a prescription for 30 Colchicine/ Colcrys™ .6mg pills.  I called around to try and find any generic and was told that  as of Jan 1st they were not aloud to sell any generic colchicine per FDA orders…. “even though they still had some in stock”…. this did NOT make me happy.

    So.. $153 dollars later… with a 7 pills free coupon,  $199 without !!!!!! I have 30 Colcrys™ pills. Thats $6.63 each.

    He also gave me a one month prescription for Allopurinol 300mg  refillable 6 times.

    His suggestion is to take three colchicine a day until the gout pain goes away (this is on top of the rest of the course of prednisone of 3 tomorrow, 2 the next day, then 1)…. then start the Allopurinol. If i get a twinge that its coming back, use the Colchicine, Prednisone or indomethacin that i still have a stash of to stop it.  He suggested if its just a twinge try 3 Colchicine a day for 3 days, or 4-3-2-1 of the Prednisone. I can't remember the indomethacin dosage but i think i could work it out. He suggested to try the Prednisone first as its so much cheaper, reserving the Colchcine for anything serious.

    He is hopping that i can manage gout attacks during my Allopurnol start up with “nipping the attacks in the bud” approch with what ever works rather than starting a prophylactic daily dosage of colchicine. He thinks there is hope with this approach as this is my first serious bout with gout…

    So tonight i took 1 Colchicine at 5pm I will take another at 9pm and another when i wake up to pee at  3am or so…… then 11am, 9pm, 3am… repeat.  Or until I'm spending to much time on the toilet.  Remember this is still with the rest of the prednisone cores.

    I still haven't had the UA test yet and the Doc's reasoning is … I have gout, we know that. Testing my UA now will only give a number that doesn't really matter at this point.. Let the Colchicine and then Allopurinol start working and then after 2-3 weeks of taking Allopurinol…..test, then we will have something to work with. His point is to save me money as I'm paying for all this out of pocket.

    I have a UA home test kit on the way as we speak for future monitoring.

    How does that sound as a plain?

    Ps…. if i ever come across the person responsible in the FDA for allowing what happened with Colchicine, or a big pharm. executive who sleeps at night knowing that he is complicate……… The police will have a hard time pulling my hands off his throat.

    This is a side of my country that truly depresses me, the staggeringly immoral attitude towards health care and the blindness of out society to see it and do something about it.

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