Colchicine may slow disease progression in patients with severe COVID-19.
Deftereos, S.G. et al. Effect of colchicine vs standard care on cardiac and inflammatory biomarkers and clinical outcomes in patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Network Open (2020). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.13136
24 June 2020
Systemic inflammation plays a role in disease progression in patients with COVID-19. As such, researchers have been trying to see whether drugs with anti-inflammatory properties can be used to treat COVID-19. Colchicine is a drug that has previously been used to treat inflammatory diseases such as gout and pericarditis (inflammation of tissues surrounding the heart). To see whether this drug has an effect in treating COVID-19, researchers in Greece used colchicine to treat 55 patients with severe COVID-19, and compared their clinical status and chemical biomarkers to 50 patients who did not receive colchicine. The results of the study showed that a smaller proportion of patients worsened clinically in the group who received colchicine. In addition, patients who received colchicine experienced slower disease progression compared to those who did not. However, levels of biomarkers indicating systemic inflammation and damage to the heart did not differ between the two groups. The findings of this small study suggest that colchicine may play a role in the treatment of patients with COVID-19, although larger studies with more patients are needed to validate these findings.
Summary by: Louis Huynh