Although primarily used on a short-term basis to treat attacks of gout, colchicine is increasingly being prescribed for longer periods as a gout preventive. This practice may heighten the chance of developing the nutritional deficiency discussed here.
Colchicine can impair intestinal absorption of vitamin B
12, so taking a B
12 supplement during extended colchicine therapy may be warranted.1
Webb DI, Chodos RB, Mahar CQ, et al. Mechanism of vitamin B12 malabsorption in patients receiving colchicine.
N Engl J Med
279: 845850, 1968.
Last reviewed December 2015 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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