Although there is no cure for gout, Colcrys can be used to both prevent and treat gout symptoms. The medication is also approved to treat a genetic condition known as familial Mediterranean fever. In some cases, this product is prescribed for unapproved uses, such as the treatment of scleroderma, sweet syndrome, or recurrent pericarditis.
- Treating familial Mediterranean fever (FMF)
- Preventing and treating gout flares (gout attacks).
Other colchicine products have never been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), since colchicine was around long before the current rules and regulations were in place. These unapproved products are labeled for the treatment and prevention of gout attacks; it is inaccurate to say these products are approved for any use.
Colcrys is the only FDA-approved colchicine medication available. In fact, in September 2010, the FDA ordered manufacturers of unapproved colchicine products to stop making and selling their products.
Familial Mediterranean fever is a genetic condition that is most common in people of Mediterranean descent. It causes recurrent attacks of peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen), fever, arthritis, pleuritis (inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest cavity), or various other problems. People with FMF typically experience their first attacks during childhood.
The most serious complication of FMF is kidney failure. Colcrys use appears to prevent the kidney damage caused by FMF. Colcrys was approved for this condition based on its ability to decrease the frequency of FMF attacks.