What is the role of colchicine in the treatment of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Colchicine is effective in the prevention of postpericardiotomy syndrome and may halve the risk of developing this syndrome when used following cardiac surgery. [46]

Imazio et al found evidence that in patients with acute pericarditis, colchicine, when added to conventional anti-inflammatory therapy, significantly reduced the rate of incessant or recurrent pericarditis. [47] In a trial of 240 adults with acute pericarditis randomly assigned to receive colchicine (n = 120) or placebo (n = 120) for 3 months in addition to conventional anti-inflammatory therapy with aspirin or ibuprofen, the primary study outcome of incessant or recurrent pericarditis occurred in 20 patients (16.7%) in the colchicine group and 45 patients (37.5%) in the placebo group. Colchicine reduced the rate of symptom persistence at 72 hours, the number of recurrences per patient, and the hospitalization rate. Furthermore, colchicine improved the remission rate at 1 week. Both groups had similar overall adverse effects and rates of study-drug discontinuation, and no serious adverse events were reported. [47]


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