Submitted: 06 Mar 2020
Accepted: 09 May 2020
ePublished: 13 Jun 2020
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J Renal Inj Prev. 2020;9(4): e28.
doi: 10.34172/jrip.2020.28

Scopus ID: 85089777267
  Abstract View: 3830
  PDF Download: 1315


Safety and adverse effect profile of colchicine in renal impairment: a systematic review of randomised trials

Julian Yaxley 1,2* ORCID logo, William Yaxley 3, Tahira Scott 1

1 Department of Nephrology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
2 Griffith University School of Medicine, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
3 Department of Urology, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
*Corresponding Author: *Corresponding author: Julian Yaxley, Email:, Email: julianyaxley@yahoo.com.au


Introduction: Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory drug prescribed for numerous medical conditions. Side effects are frequently encountered, particularly gastrointestinal symptoms. Caution and dose reduction are advised in patients with renal impairment because of a presumed increased risk of side effects. This systematic review intends to summarise the available literature to define the adverse effect profile of colchicine used in patients with kidney disease.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of randomised clinical trials seeking to evaluate the association between renal impairment and colchicine toxicity. We limited our search to randomised studies in humans in the English language. We allowed colchicine prescribed for any duration, dose or indication.

Results: Our literature search identified a total of 7707 records. Only a single randomised trial was ultimately identified as meeting the inclusion criteria and addressing our research question. In patients with renal impairment, colchicine was not associated with an increased risk of dialysis, time until dialysis, or the incidence of liver function test derangement. We found no data for adverse events such as leukopenia, thrombocytopenia or diarrhoea in the kidney disease subgroup. Data was sparse and of poor quality.

Conclusion: It is widely recommended that colchicine dose be reduced in patients with renal impairment due to an increased risk of drug accumulation and side effects. In our study, we failed to identify any robust clinical research substantiating this association. This is the first systematic review of randomised trials to investigate this link. Further research is required before the safety and tolerability of colchicine in renal disease can be confirmed.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

There is no robust clinical research substantiating the association between colchicine toxicity and renal impairment. While this may encourage practices to be relaxed, it should continue to be prescribed cautiously in patients with poor renal function until further data becomes available.

Please cite this paper as: Yaxley J, Yaxley W, Scott T. Safety and adverse effect profile of colchicine in renal impairment: a systematic review of randomised trials. J Renal Inj Prev. 2020; 9(4): e28. doi: 10.34172/jrip.2020.28.

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