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J Drugs Dermatol. 2011 Dec;10(12):1423-8.

Treatment of chronic urticaria with colchicine.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.



Chronic urticaria (CU) is a cutaneous disease that can be debilitating, difficult to treat, and sometimes life-threatening. Treatment with antihistamines is often ineffective. Immunosuppressants are second line therapy but can have significant side effects. Data is needed on effective therapies with safer profiles.


To determine the efficacy and side-effects of colchicine in patients with CU.


Patients were identified through retrospective chart reviews at the University of Utah from 2002-2007. We identified 36 patients with a diagnosis of chronic urticaria based on history, physical examination, and a skin biopsy. Length of treatment ranged from one month to 17 months.


Subjective clinical responses to colchicine therapy reported as complete (n=15) or partial (n=5) were found in 56 percent of patients. The mean±SD duration of treatment was 7±6 months. Three patients (15%) who had resolution of urticaria stopped colchicine secondary to diarrhea and hematuria. Of the complete responders, nine individuals (60%) have remained symptom free and four individuals (27%) had recurrence after colchicine was stopped.


Short-term follow-up and retrospective study design.


This retrospective study demonstrated that colchicine was an effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients unresponsive to antihistamines. The data supports the use of colchicine for CU patients and further controlled studies are warranted to better characterize the use of colchicine in patients with CU refractory to antihistamines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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