Health Guide

Autumn crocus

What is it?

Autumn Crocus is an herbal medicine sometimes used to treat gout and Familial Mediterranean Fever.

Other names for Autumn Crocus include: Colchicum autumnale, Meadow Saffron, Naked Boy, Naked Lady, Son-Before-the-Father, and Wild Saffron.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • Are taking medicine or are allergic (uh-ler-jik) to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or diet supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have heart, kidney, or severe stomach problems
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Autumn Crocus you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Autumn Crocus. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Autumn Crocus without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Medicine that slows down your immune system (Cyclosporine (Sandimmune(R), Neoral(R))
  • Erythromycin (E-Mycin(R), E.E.S.(R), Erythrocin(R), Pediamycin(R))
  • Interferon Alfa-2A


  • Autumn Crocus can be poisonous. Do not take Autumn Crocus without talking to your doctor.
  • Before taking Autumn Crocus, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Nausea, vomiting (throwing up), diarrhea, stomach pain (1,5,6)
  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, chills, cough, fever (6,7)
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on lips or in mouth, swollen or painful glands (6,7)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising (6,7)
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness (6,7)
  • If used too much or for too long, can cause rash, anemia, and muscle pain (1)


1. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

2. Caraco Y, Putterman C, Rahamimov R et al: Acute colchicine intoxication: possible role of erythromycin administration. J Rheumatol 1992; 19:494-496.

3. Gruberg L, Har-Zahav Y, Argranat O et al: Acute myopathy induced by colchicine in a cyclosporine treated heart transplant recipient: possible role of the multidrug resistance transporter. Transplant Proc 1999; 31:2157-2158.

4. Yussim A, Bar-Nathan N, Lustig S et al: Gastrointestinal, hepatorenal, and neuromuscular toxicity caused by cyclosporine-colchicine interaction in renal transplantation. Transplant Proc 1994; 26:2825-2826.

5. Brncic N, Viskovic I, Peric R et al: Accidental plant poisoning with colchicum autumnale: report of two cases. Croat Med J 2001; 42(6):673-675.

6. Hood RL: Colchicine Poisoning. J Emergency Med 1994; 12(2):171-177.

7. Klintschar M, Beham-Schmid C, Radner H et al: Colchicine poisoning by accidental ingestion of meadow saffron (colchicum autumnale): pathological and medicolegal aspects. Forensic Sci Int 1999; 106(3):191-200.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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