There have been at least 50 reports of adverse events (side effects) associated with the use of intravenous colchicine, which includes at least 23 deaths. Colchicine is an unapproved injectable drug used to treat gout.
The harmful and potentially deadly effects of the drug include low blood cell counts, organ failure and cardiac arrest. The FDA stresses that the difference between an effective dose of colchicine and a potentially fatal dose is a very small margin.
In addition to gout treatment, compounding pharmacies have also prescribed colchicine products for back pain treatment.
This action taken by the FDA does not affect colchicine medication in pill form, which is frequently used to prevent attacks of the gout, and are pre-dosed for safer use.