Study finds colchicine may be effective for treating gout

PHILADELPHIA Though it has existed for nearly 200 years, the drug colchicine now has clinical data to back its use as a treatment for gout.

A 575-patient, placebo-controlled study published in the April issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, the official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, found that low doses of URL Pharma’s Colcrys were as effective as high doses in reducing the pain associated with early acute gout flares, though the safety profile of the drug was statistically indistinguishable from placebo.

“For centuries, colchicines for the indication of acute gouty arthritis has been dosed at levels higher than clinically necessary,” VA Medical Center San Diego section chief and University of California San Diego medical professor Robert Terkeltaub said. “This study is the first to demonstrate that a low-dose colchicine regimen in the treatment of early gout flare, defined as within 12 hours of symptom onset.”

The Food and Drug Administration approved Colcrys in July 2009, and it is currently the only single-ingredient version of colchicine to have FDA approval. Colchicine was discovered in 1820.

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