Do all colchicine preparations have the same effectiveness in patients with familial Mediterranean fever?

Mod Rheumatol. 2021 Mar;31(2):481-484. doi: 10.1080/14397595.2020.1790139. Epub 2020 Jul 20.


Aim: Colchicine is the primary treatment for familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). Several colchicine preparations are currently using available globally. This study aimed to describe the demographic, clinical, and genetic features of FMF patients treated with multiple colchicine preparations.

Materials and methods: The records of patients diagnosed as FMF and followed-up by our pediatric rheumatology department were retrospectively evaluated. Patients that were treated with multiple colchicine preparations were included. Patient demographic, clinical, and laboratory data were obtained from the patient files and the hospital patient database. The daily colchicine dose and FMF attack frequency before and after switching from domestically produced (DP)-coated colchicine tablets to foreign produced (FP)-compressed colchicine tablets were compared.

Results: The study included 35 pediatric FMF patients (22 males and 13 females) with a mean age of 12.85 ± 4.62 years. Mean age at disease onset was 3.66 ± 2.11 years, versus 5.57 ± 4.28 years at diagnosis. The mean attack frequency before and after treatment with FP-compressed colchicine tablets was 9.50 ± 4.46 and 1.85 ± 1.41/year, respectively (p < .001). The mean attack duration significantly decreased in all the patients treated with FP-compressed colchicine tablets (p < .001). The difference in acute phase reactants during the attack-free periods before and after FP-compressed colchicine tablet treatment was significant (p < .001).

Conclusion: The present findings show that pediatric FMF patients with ongoing attacks and elevated acute phase reactants during attack-free periods while treated with DP-coated colchicine tablets might benefit from switching to FP-compressed colchicine tablets before initiating biologic treatment. Long-term controlled studies are warranted, so as to obtain better evidence of the benefits of multiple colchicine preparations in pediatric FMF patients.

Keywords: Familial Mediterranean fever; colchicine; treatment.