a poisonous, yellow alkaloid, CHNO, extracted from the seeds or corms of a species of colchicum (Colchicum autumnale): used in the treatment of gout, in genetic engineering, and to produce chromosome doubling in plants for greater growth and fertile hybrids
The mainstay of treatment for FMF is an oral medication called colchicine, which is highly effective for the fever and pain that accompany the disorder, as well as for amyloidosis and the kidney disease that can result from it.
The chief constituents of colchicum are two alkaloids, colchicine and veratrine.
Colchicine is the active principle and may be given in full form in doses of to 1 1 8 grain.
The British Pharmacopoeia contains (i) an extract of the fresh corm, having doses of 4 to i grain, and (2) the Vinum Colchici, made by treating the dried corm with sherry and given in doses of 10 to 30 minims. This latter is the preparation still most generally used, though the presence of veratrine both in the corm and the seeds renders the use of colchicine itself theoretically preferable.
They contain a volatile oil which does not occur in the corm, and their proportion of colchicine is higher, for which reason the Tinctura Colchici Seminum- dose 5 to 15 minims - is preferable to the wine prepared from the corm.