Colchicine Safe, Effective Adjunct in Recurrent Pericarditis

Data reveals drug safe and effective for secondary prevention of recurrent pericarditis

MONDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Colchicine appears to be safe and effective for the secondary prevention of recurrent pericarditis, according to a study published online first August 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Massimo Imazio, M.D., of Maria Vittoria Hospital and Ospedale degli Infermi in Torino, Italy, and colleagues evaluated the efficacy and safety of colchicine for the secondary prevention of recurrent pericarditis. In the CORP trial, the investigators randomized 120 patients with a first recurrence of pericarditis to receive either placebo or colchicine, 1.0 to 2.0 mg on the first day, followed by a maintenance dose of 0.5 to 1.0 mg/d, for six months, along with conventional treatment.

The investigators found that the recurrence rate of pericarditis at 18 months was 24 percent among those who received colchicine and 55 percent among those who received placebo. The investigators also found that colchicine reduced the persistence of symptoms at 72 hours and the mean number of recurrences. In addition, colchicine increased the remission rate at one week and prolonged the time to subsequent recurrence. Side effects and drug withdrawal symptoms were similar between both groups.

"In the CORP trial, colchicine as an adjunct to conventional anti-inflammatory therapy halved the recurrence rate at 18 months after a first episode of recurrent pericarditis, reduced the number of recurrences, and prolonged the time to subsequent recurrence, with no significant or severe side effects. The placebo and treatment groups had similar rates of side effects, with gastrointestinal intolerance (the main side effect) occurring in up to 7 percent of cases. To our knowledge, this is the first multicenter, double-blind randomized trial to show such efficacy and safety for colchicine," the authors write.

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