Skip to main content
main-content
Top

05-02-2021 | COVID-19 | News

Colchicine may improve outcomes for hospitalized patients with COVID-19

Author:
Claire Barnard

medwireNews: The addition of colchicine to standard treatment reduces the duration of supplemental oxygen therapy and time to hospital discharge among patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, suggest findings from a randomized controlled trial.

Rene Oliveira (University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil) and co-investigators report that supplemental oxygen was required for a median of 4.0 days among the 36 participants who were randomly assigned to receive colchicine in addition to local standard treatment, compared with a median of 6.5 days for the 36 participants given add-on placebo, a significant difference.

Colchicine was given at a dose of 0.5 mg three times daily for 5 days, followed by 0.5 mg twice daily for 5 days, with dose adjustment based on bodyweight and kidney function.

Its use also resulted in a significantly shorter median duration of hospital stay compared with placebo, at 7.0 versus 9.0 days.

These endpoints “have relevance for daily practice in the COVID-19 pandemic, by reducing the length of hospitalisation, consequently diminishing costs and the need for hospital beds,” write the researchers in RMD Open.

The investigators also found that a significantly smaller proportion of patients treated with colchicine versus placebo required supplemental oxygen at days 2 (67 vs 86%) and 7 (9 vs 42%), and colchicine-treated patients were less likely to remain in hospital at days 7 (42 vs 72%) and 10 (9 vs 39%).

In accordance with these results, levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) decreased more rapidly in the colchicine compared with the placebo group, with median levels of 4.3 and 8.4 mg/dL, respectively, at day 2.

Taking into account the impact on both CRP and the requirement for supplemental oxygen, “colchicine use seems promising if we consider that the systemic inflammation was safely halted in a shorter period compared with the standard treatment,” say Oliveira and team.

They report that colchicine was well tolerated overall, and the majority of adverse events (AEs) were mild. The most commonly reported AE in the colchicine arm was new or worsened diarrhea, affecting 17% of participants compared with 6% in the placebo group.

The study authors caution that their trial was limited by small participant numbers, and therefore it was not possible to evaluate the impact of colchicine on mortality risk.

They conclude: “Clinical trials with larger numbers of patients should be conducted to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of colchicine as an adjunctive therapy for hospitalized patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

5 February 2021: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

RMD Open 2021; doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2020-001455

COVID-19 vaccination in patients with rheumatic diseases

Get answers to key questions with recommendations from professional organizations

EULAR 2021 Virtual Congress coverage

Access news and expert commentary from the EULAR 2021 Virtual Congress.

Image Credits