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West J Med. 1983 Jan;138(1):43-6.

Colchicine use for familial Mediterranean fever. Observations associated with long-term treatment.


Of 85 patients with familial Mediterranean fever receiving continuous prophylactic colchicine therapy, 62 (73 percent) have had a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of their attacks. All 62 have been observed for three years or more, for a total of 4,680 patient-months and a mean duration of 75.5 months. Of the 85 patients, 23 (27 percent) did not complete three years of treatment for a variety of reasons. Diarrhea was the most common side effect, necessitating reduction of colchicine dosage in 12 patients, but discontinuation of treatment in only one. No other significant side effects were observed. Continuous, prophylactic colchicine therapy is effective in preventing the recurrent febrile paroxysms of familial Mediterranean fever and is indicated in those patients who are incapacitated by frequent attacks or who are at risk for amyloidosis developing.

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