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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1988 Jul-Sep;6(3):305-17.

Colchicine in therapy. State of the art and new perspectives for an old drug.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Hôpital Universitaire Saint-Pierre, University of Brussels, Belgium.


Colchicine is the most specific treatment in acute gouty attacks. In several European countries, oral colchicine is still used for routine treatment of acute gout. Its selectivity is used as a diagnostic tool. It is also active in the treatment of acute crises of chondrocalcinosis and more occasionally of other arthritic crises (e.g. sarcoidosis). Colchicine appears to be the necessary adjuvant prophylactic drug when starting a hypouricemic treatment with uricosuric or uricolytic drugs for avoiding acute gouty crisis due to sudden mobilisation of the uric acid pool. Besides gout, colchicine is the drug of choice for treating familial mediterranean fever. It appears to be helpful in the treatment of Behçet's disease. It seems also useful for treating fibrosing conditions such as liver cirrhosis and scleroderma. As an adjuvant therapy, it helps treating dermatological disorders which are associated with leucocyte migration as an essential pathogenic factor (e.g. psoriasis, dermatitis herpetiformis, necrotising vasculitis ...). It has been advocated as an adjuvant therapy in malignant diseases as a support in radiotherapy and as an useful drug in various other diseases where it has been tried occasionally (e.g. Paget's disease of the bone, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, disc syndrome). This very old drug remains a modern therapeutic agent.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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