Colchicine — an oral drug that's usually prescribed for gout — is one of several anti-inflammatory drugs being included in clinical trials as a potential COVID-19 treatment.
WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- As researchers hunt for ways to treat severe COVID-19 infections, a new trial will ask whether an old arthritis drug can prevent serious complications in the first place.
The medication, called colchicine, is an oral anti-inflammatory that has long been prescribed for gout, a form of arthritis. Its history goes back thousands of years, and the drug was first sourced from the autumn crocus flower.
Doctors also sometimes use colchicine to treat pericarditis, where the sac around the heart becomes inflamed.
Now researchers in the United States and Canada are testing it for a different purpose: Keeping high-risk COVID-19 patients from getting sick enough to land in the hospital.
Colchicine is just one of several anti-inflammatory drugs currently in clinical trials for treating COVID-19.
It's all part of a growing belief that the worst effects of the coronavirus infection are caused not by the virus itself, but by a massive overreaction of the immune system, known as a cytokine storm.