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Eur J Med Res. 2001 Apr 20;6(4):150-60.

Current aspects of colchicine therapy -- classical indications and new therapeutic uses.

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Kerckhoff Clinic and Foundation, Department of Rheumatology, University Giessen, Ludwig Str. 37-39, D-61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.


Colchicine has been traditionally used for the treatment of gout. At present there is no generally accepted alternative to colchicine for the treatment of acute attacks or for the prevention of further attacks. The complex actions of this substance, which are mainly attributable to its stabilising action on the cytoskeleton and cell membranes, and its special pattern of distribution form the basis for the results presented here regarding the prophylactic or therapeutic actions of colchicine in a whole range of other diseases. This is all the more significant in that in several instances it concerns diseases that have so far been unsatisfactorily controlled by other treatments. Because of its astonishing absence of side effects, some authors consider that low dose colchicine may be considered as an alternative to previous therapies or even a means of first choice. It is therefore incorrect to think that medical research has shown little interest in this long-known potential and has not sought to confirm promising options by means of controlled studies. Fibrotic and inflammatory systemic diseases and those in which leucocytic chemotaxis play a role seem to be particularly predestined for this.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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