Gloperba is the first liquid version of the anti-gout medication colchicine. It is a red and slightly hazy solution with a cherry flavor. Taken orally like cough syrup, the dosage is 0.6 mg per 5 ml (teaspoon) of colchicine. It became available to the general public in February 2020.
With the addition of Gloperba, there are now three forms of colchicine available to with prescription. (Click the brand name to direct you to its homepage for specific information)
Gout is a painful arthritic disorder due to a buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint. As gout cases increase every year, different treatment requirements increase. As a result, a liquid version of colchicine became necessary to tailor to the growing number of diverse conditions of patients.
[For in-depth videos on how exactly gout develops, check out: Five YouTube Videos That Best Explain Gout ]
Advantages of Gloperba
ROMEG Therapeutics, received FDA approval for Gloperba in February 2019. By agreement, Avion Pharmaceuticals, holds exclusive rights to manufacturing and marketing.
Gloperba advantages in a liquid form:
- Liquid version offers more modifiable dose per patient
- Easier and safer than swallowing pills; lower risk of choking
- Packaged in 150 ml bottle for a 30 day prescription
- Room temperature storage; no refrigeration needed
- Quicker absorption rate; pills dissolve slower
“Existing therapies do not adequately address the physician’s need to adjust dosages of colchicine to manage the toxicity profile for patients with renal and liver impairments, side effects, common drug-to-drug interactions, and age-related health disorders.”Naomi Vishnupad, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ROMEG Therapeutics
What is Colchicine?
Colchicine is an ingredient extracted from a plant called autumn crocus or meadow saffron. The seeds contain the highest concentrations. Many people are not aware that this plant is poisonous and harmful if consumed at high amounts. Needless to say, modern science has tested and formulated many safe medicines from poisonous plants.
How Does Colchicine Work?
During a gout attack, your autoimmune system releases immune chemicals and white blood cells to the infected or painful joint. Colchicine works by preventing certain white blood cells from interacting with uric acid crystals and the surface the irritated joint. The results are less pain and swelling.
To be clear, colchicine does not lower uric acid levels in your blood. It only treats the joint inflammation and pain due to gout.
[For a more information on other medications to treat gout, check out: What Is Gout? Arthritis, Uric Acid, Purines And Pain!]
Dosage for Gloperba
According to the label information, the recommended liquid dosage of Gloperba is 0.6 mg/5 ml, about a teaspoon, once or twice daily. To assure an accurate dosage, patients should ask their pharmacist or doctor for a proper measuring device.
Also note, colchicine does not instantly relieve gout symptoms. It may take about 4-8 hours to start feeling and seeing effects. Usually, within 24-48 hours (4-5 pills later), the intense pain subsides.
During my worse gout episodes, sometimes I would still feel some discomfort and limp around for two or three weeks. That was usually during the NFL season, drinking lots of beer on Sundays and Monday nights!
Always consult with your doctor for recommendations relative to your condition.
Side Effects and Precautions
Naturally, side effects and adverse reactions of colchicine are the same for its liquid version, Gloperba. Typical side effects of theses colchicine brands are:
- stomach cramps
More serious but less common reactions are:
- numbness in toes or fingers
- unknown bruising
Medications Not Recommended with Colchicine
Colcrys, Mitigare and Gloperba are not recommended to take with certain drugs like clarithromycin (antibiotic), conivaptan (antidiuretic), Telaprevir (hepatitis), and Verapamil (high blood pressure).
A comprehensive list of medicines not recommended to take with colchicine is listed at www.drugs.com.
Additionally, avoid grapefruit while taking colchicine. It can cause a mild increase in colchicine dose, thus, heighten side effects.
A fatal overdose with colchicine is a possibility. The lowest reported lethal doses of oral colchicine are 7-26 mg. Keep in mind, interactions with certain medicines and patient preconditions are significant catalysts.
Always talk to your doctor about your risks of taking colchicine. If side effects persist, get medical help immediately.
Other Facts on Colchicine
In 1961, colchicine was first allowed for sale the general public. Doctors prescribed it to treat individuals with gout or Familial Mediterranean fever. Fore decades, colchicine was exempt from FDA approval because it was in the market before established health regulations.
URL Pharma (acquired by Takeda 2012) obtained FDA approval in 2009 for the colchicine brand name, Colcrys. For long time gout sufferers, this was when the price became ridiculously expensive (from about 10 cents to $5 per pill.)
Colcrys became very expensive because it was the only antigout brand medication in the market. The approval of colchicine generic drugs in 2015 lowered prices considerably.
For reference, Lidocaine, a pain relief drug ranked #208 in 2017. Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate, the medication assumed to help treat COVID-19 symptoms, ranked #128 (2017).
According to Wellrx, the liquid version of colchicine, Gloperba can cost 2-3 times more than Colcrys tablets or Mitgare capsules at various pharmacies. One reason for higher prices is because of higher expenses to manufacture liquid medicines than pills or capsules. Similar to when Colcrys was first marketed, Gloperba has no generic versions or competition. Thus, Avion Pharmaceuticals, the sole producer largely controls pricing.
The jury is still out whether Gloperba the liquid form of colchicine will be more prevalent than Colcrys or Mitigare. I see it being beneficial to people who have real difficulty swallowing pills. The pills are tiny already. If you had to take 0.3 mg doses, the tablet can easily be cut in half with a pill splitter.
Most gout victims will experience the common side effects when popping over three pills (1.8 mg) of colchicine in 24 hours. Side effects from most medicines are collateral damage to resolve the primary disease.
The side effects are a minor price to pay to stop the crippling pain! However, it will take a toll on you if it turns into a monthly routine. If you can bare the side effects or don’t have any, great for you. Also, I’m curious to find news or reviews of chronic gout sufferers taking Gloperba.
Again, colchicine relieves the gout symptoms of acute pain and inflammation but is not the cure. I stopped being overly dependent on colchicine as soon as I started improving my sh*tty diet at the time. However, it is wise to have it around for extreme gout attacks.
Ultimately, the goal is to be eat healthy enough to stop getting gout attacks. Then, you won’t overly depend and spend on Gloperba or any type of colchicine.
Eat less foods with high purine content. Eat more foods with natural antioxidants. Start doing this and see less of gout attacks. It will take some time and effort, but that’s a major part on becoming GOUTPROOF!