Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Rob Rosenow PharmD, OD
Annjanette Sommers MS, PA-C
BACKGROUND: Colchicine has been traditionally used for the treatment of gout. In just over the last twenty years, colchicine has been gaining interest as a treatment for acute and recurrent pericarditis. A few small studies have addressed the safety and efficacy of this treatment, however, a general agreement has not been reached.
METHODS: A systematic literature review of the studies focusing on colchicine for the treatment of pericarditis, from 1990 to present, was performed using the MEDLINE, CINAHL and Web of Science databases. A modified validity scoring method (0-10) was applied to the studies that qualified through the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
RESULTS: Five studies that focused on colchicine for the treatment of pericarditis met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. There were two randomized, open-label studies (n=120 & n=84) with a validity score of eight. There was one prospective, cohort study (n=58) with a validity score of five. There was one retrospective, multi-center case analysis (n=119) that received a validity score of two, and a prospective case series (n=9) with a validity score of three. All of the studies found colchicine to be effective for the treatment of acute or recurrent pericarditis, with 1 mg daily as the most common dose. There were no reports of serious, adverse reactions to colchicine. Diarrhea was the most common side effect. As a secondary outcome, corticosteroids were found to be an independent risk factor for the recurrence of pericarditis in three of the studies.
CONCLUSION: Based on this systematic review of literature, there is moderate evidence showing colchicine to be safe and effective in the treatment of acute or recurrent pericarditis. However, a larger, double-blinded, randomized-controlled trial is needed to further investigate this potential treatment. There is also some evidence to support corticosteroids as an independent risk factor for the recurrence of pericarditis.
Murray, Scott, "The Safety and Efficacy of Colchicine for the Treatment of Pericarditis" (2009). School of Physician Assistant Studies. 153.