Colchicine - From rheumatology to the new kid on the block: Coronary syndromes and COVID-19

Cardiol J. 2023;30(2):297-311. doi: 10.5603/CJ.a2021.0123. Epub 2021 Oct 13.


Colchicine is an effective anti-inflammatory agent used to treat gout, coronary artery disease, viral pericarditis, and familial Mediterranean fever. It has been found to act by preventing the polymerization of the protein called tubulin, thus inhibiting inflammasome activation, proinflammatory chemokines, and cellular adhesion molecules. Accumulating evidence suggests that some patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffer from "cytokine storm" syndrome. The ideal anti-inflammatory in this setting would be one that is readily available, cheap, orally administered, with a good safety profile, well- tolerated, and that prevents or modulates inflammasome activation. The researchers selected colchicine for their study. This paper is a review of the literature describing the effects of colchicine, which is a drug that is being increasingly used, especially when standard therapy fails. Colchicine was shown to reduce inflammatory lung injury and respiratory failure by interfering with leukocyte activation and recruitment. In this publication, we try to systematically review the current data on new therapeutic options for colchicine. The article focuses on new data from clinical trials in COVID-19, rheumatic, cardiovascular, and other treatment such as familial Mediterranean fever, chronic urticaria, and PFAPA syndrome (periodic fever, aphthous, stomatitis, pharyngitis, and cervical adenitis). We also summarize new reports on the side effects, drug interactions, and safety of colchicine.

Keywords: COVID-19; cardiovascular diseases; colchicine; rheumatic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Colchicine / adverse effects
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever*
  • Humans
  • Inflammasomes
  • Pharyngitis* / drug therapy
  • Pharyngitis* / prevention & control
  • Rheumatology*
  • Syndrome


  • Colchicine
  • Inflammasomes