Quebec researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute have found that colchicine — a medication used to treat inflammation and gout — is an effective oral treatment for COVID-19.
Colchicine is currently the only known effective oral medication for treating non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients — a world first, according to a press release issued by the Institute on January 23.
The Institute tested the efficacy of the oral treatment as part of its COLCORONA clinical trial — a “contact-less, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that took place at home” among approximately 4,500 COVID-19 patients worldwide, with at least one risk factor for complications.
Colchicine treatment reduced hospitalizations for patients in the study by 25%, reduced the need for mechanical ventilation by 50%, and reduced deaths by 44%.
Study results show that colchicine has overall reduced the risk of death or hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 by 21% compared to a placebo, the press release says.
“Our research shows the efficacy of colchicine treatment in preventing the ‘cytokine storm’ phenomenon and reducing the complications associated with COVID-19,” said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, principal investigator of the COLCORONA trial.
COLCORONA is the world’s largest study that tested an orally-administered drug in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
The study was coordinated by the Montreal Heart Institute’s Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Center (MHICC) and was funded, in part, by the Government of Quebec.