Colchicine has been effectively used to prevent acute flares in patients with gout, but drug-related adverse events have frequently occurred. We investigated whether colchicine therapy with febuxostat is associated with hepatotoxicity in gout patients. Gout patients treated with (n
= 121) or without (n
= 57) colchicine were enrolled upon initiating febuxostat as a urate-lowering treatment, and clinical and laboratory data at diagnosis were compared. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the risk factors related to hepatotoxicity. Median age of the with-colchicine and without-colchicine groups was 51.0 (37.0–62.0) and 56.0 (43.5–68.5) years, respectively. During the three months of febuxostat prescription, the prevalence of hepatotoxicity was 13/121 (10.9%) in the with-colchicine group and 4/57 (7.0%) in the without-colchicine group, without statistical significance. The rate of colchicine use was not different between the study subjects with or without hepatotoxicity (76.5% vs. 67.1%, p
= 0.587). Pre-existing liver disease was significantly associated with increased risk of hepatotoxicity after febuxostat treatment (odds ratio, 4.083; 95% confidence interval, 1.326–12.577; p
= 0.014). Colchicine may be safely used as a prophylactic agent for gout patients with febuxostat. However, upon initiating febuxostat, it is recommended to monitor the development of acute liver injury in gout patients with underlying liver disease.
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