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Colchicine-induced rhabdomyolysis: a review of 83 cases
  1. Mohammad Abudalou1,
  2. Ahmed S Mohamed1,
  3. Eduardo A Vega2 and
  4. Ali Al Sbihi3,4
  1. 1Medicine, St Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Surgery, St Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Internal Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  4. 4Internal Medicine, Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ali Al Sbihi; aalsbihi{at}


A 74-year-old man with medical history significant for atrial fibrillation, hyperlipidaemia and coronary artery disease on atorvastatin presented to the emergency department with profound weakness. The patient reports he first noticed his weakness 4 weeks after starting colchicine, prescribed for recurrent pericarditis with pericardial effusion, a complication following recent coronary artery bypass grafting. The patient was also on prednisone therapy for presumed post-pericardiotomy syndrome. The weakness involved all four limbs but was more notable in the lower extremities, with preserved sensation and tenderness to palpation. Labs showed an elevated creatinine phosphokinase and serum creatinine consistent with rhabdomyolysis. Discontinuation of the offending medications, including colchicine and atorvastatin, as well as intravenous fluid resuscitation with physical rehabilitation, led to improvement in the patient’s symptoms. He was eventually discharged to a rehabilitation facility to continue physical therapy.

  • drugs and medicines
  • drug interactions
  • unwanted effects / adverse reactions
  • cardiovascular medicine

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  • Contributors MA collected the patient data and wrote the initial draft of the manuscript. MA reviewed the literature, wrote the discussion section, and collected data into the table. MA, EAV and ASM revised and corrected the manuscript. AAS proofread the case for any errors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.