Colchicum seeds are the product of Colchicum autumnale, Linn. (N.O. Liliaceae), a plant distributed over Central and Southern Europe, and common in parts of England. They are also official in the U.S.P., when they should contain not less than 0.45 per cent. of colchicine. The Brussels Conference agreed that the seeds only should be used. The dried ripe seeds are small, very hard, rough (from the presence of minute pits), and dull dark reddish-brown in colour. They are about 2 1/2 millimetres in diameter, nearly spherical in shape, and somewhat pointed from the remains of a thick funiculus. The seeds are tough to cut, and exhibit in section an oily endosperm. They have no odour, but a bitter, acrid taste. On incineration, they yield about 3 per cent. of ash. Constituents.—The seeds yield from 0.2 to 0.8 per cent. of the amorphous, yellow, toxic alkaloid colchicine, which resides chiefly in the seed coats; they also contain colchico-resin and fixed oil.
Action and Uses.—The physiological action and therapeutic properties of colchicum are described under Colchici Cormus and Colchicina. The seeds are administered chiefly in the form of Tinctura Colchici Seminum. In cases of poisoning by colchicum seeds, the antidotes described under colchicum corm should be applied.
- Fluidextractum Colchici Seminis, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF COLCHICUM SEED.
- Colchicum seed, in No. 50 powder, 100; alcohol (63 per cent.), sufficient to produce about 100. Prepared by a percolation process, and the product adjusted so that it shall contain 0.5 per cent. w/v of colchicine. Average dose.—2 decimils (0.2 milliliters) (3 minims).
- Tinctura Colchici, P.I.—TINCTURE OF COLCHICUM, P.I.
- Strength 10 per cent., prepared by percolation with alcohol (70 per cent.).
- Tinctura Colchici Composita, P.L., 1851.—COMPOUND TINCTURE OF COLCHICUM.
- Colchicum seeds, bruised, 12.5; aromatic spirit of ammonia, 100. Prepared by the maceration process. Compound tincture of colchicum is used for the specific action of colchicum in gout. Dose.—1 to 2 mils (15 to 30 minims).
- Tinctura Colchici Seminis, U.S.P.—TINCTURE OF COLCHICUM SEED.
- Colchicum seed, in No. 30 powder, 10; alcohol (57 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. The product should contain 0.04 per cent. w/v of colchicine. Average dose.—2 mils (30 minims).
- Tinctura Colchici Seminum, B.P.—TINCTURE OF COLCHICUM SEEDS.
- Colchicum seeds, in No. 30 powder, 20; alcohol (45 per cent.), sufficient to produce 100. Prepared by the percolation process. Tincture of colchicum seeds is used for the specific action of colchicum in gout. Dose.—3 to 10 decimils (0.3 to 1.0 milliliters) (5 to 15 minims).
- Vinum Colchici Seminis, U.S.P.—WINE OF COLCHICUM SEED.
- Fluidextract of colchicum seed, 10; alcohol (95 per cent.), 15; white wine, 75. Set aside for two days and then filter. Average dose.—2 mils (30 minims).
- Vinum Colchici Seminum, B.P.C.—COLCHICUM SEED WINE. (1 in 10.
- Used similarly to Vinum Colchici, Dose.—1/2 to 2 mils (10 to 30 minims).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.