An anti-inflammatory drug used normally on gout patients has proved effective in treating complications linked to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Institut de cardiologie de Montréal (ICM – Montreal Institute of Cardiology) announced on Saturday on its website.
A study launched in March 2020 has provided clinically convincing results of the effectiveness of Colchicine in treating COVID-19, ICM said. This would make it the first oral medication in the world capable of treating Coronavirus patients in the pre-hospital phase.
The Colcorona study, conducted on 4,488 patients, shows that Colchicine reduces the risk of death or hospitalisation among COVID-19 patients by 21% compared to a placebo. “Among patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, Colchicine reduced hospital admissions by 25%, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50% and deaths by 44%,” the ICM reported on its website.
It added that treating high-risk patients with the anti-inflammatory drug as soon as they test positive for COVID-19 helps to “reduce their risk of developing a severe form of the illness and thus reduce the number of hospitalisations.”
Prescribing Colchicine for patients could, moreover, “help attenuate the problem of bottlenecks at hospitals and reduce costs linked to governmental health systems both here and abroad,” it added.
“We are happy to offer the first oral medication in the world whose use could have an important incidence on public health and potentially prevent COVID-19 complications in millions of patients,” said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of ICM’s Research Centre.