Could Colchicine Reduce COVID-19 Mortality?

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over 2.3 million deaths since it began a year ago. The systemic inflammatory storm is responsible for the damage to the lungs in most patients leading to life-threatening or fatal multiorgan damage or acute respiratory distress syndrome. A new preprint article suggests the potential utility of colchicine in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection and forestalling severe and life-threatening inflammation of the lungs and other organs. . Colchicine works by inhibiting the inflammatory response and reducing the proinflammatory cytokines. The current study includes three RCTs and three observational retrospective studies reporting 5,033 patients.

Across all six studies, mortality was reduced by 75%, with the odds being reduced by 64%, in colchicine users. In the study on non-hospitalized patients, the odds were 44% lower. For hospitalized non-ICU patients, the mortality odds were 75% lower, and the risk of death was reduced by 85%. In contrast, the risk was 60% lower in hospitalized ICU patients. There was no difference observed in the rate of ICU admissions among patients with and without colchicine use. No significant reduction in the risk of mechanical ventilation was found. Colchicine is a well-tolerated and approved drug, with a low cost, and thus offers the potential for highly cost-effective treatment for COVID-19 patients. However, more research is needed to examine the effects of this drug on COVID-19 outcomes, depending on the time of initiation.

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