Montreal research team discovers age-old drug may be effective against COVID-19.
A team of researchers from the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) may have discovered a medication that is effective against COVID-19.
The medication, colchicine, comes in tablet form and is already in use for the treatment of gout and Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF).
In the randomized, double-blind ColCorona study, which included nearly 4,500 participants whose diagnosis of coronavirus had been confirmed with a nasopharyngeal test (PCR), the use of colchicine reduced the number of hospitalizations by 25%, intubations by 50%, and deaths by 44%.
According to a press release, “The study results have shown that colchicine has reduced by 21% the risk of death or hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 compared to placebo. This result obtained for the global study population of 4488 patients approached statistical significance.”
Participants hailed from Canada, the US, Europe, South America, and South Africa, and included those who had at least one risk factor for developing complications from coronavirus.
In the test group, participants took 0.5mg of colchicine twice daily for three days, after which they continued taking it once a day for 27 days. The placebo group took their placebo for 30 days.
“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, Director of the MHI Research Center, Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal and Principal Investigator of the COLCORONA trial.
“We are pleased to offer the first oral medication in the world whose use could have a significant impact on public health and potentially prevent COVID-19 complications for millions of patients.”