Classic Gout Treatment May Have Broader Applications
The benefits of colchicine have been reported for many years for joint pain, gout and other inflammatory ailments. The flower from which it is derived, Colchicum autumnale, was mentioned as a remedy as far back as 1500 BCE in an ancient Egyptian manuscript, though the FDA did not approve the derived colchicine for medications until 2009.
Colchicine’s effectiveness to treat gout and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) has been demonstrated in randomized controlled studies. More recent studies have looked at large cohorts of patients that have taken colchicine for gout to determine if the treatment may have novel applications within oncology, immunology, cardiology and dermatology.
A recent review of clinical trials and case studies looked at many uses of colchicine for various dermatological diseases. In dermatology, small studies have found benefits for Behcet’s disease, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, leucocytoclastic vasculitis, chronic urticaria, actinic keratoses and recurrent aphthous stomatitis, among others. The authors state that the list of diseases that may look to colchicine for treatment is lengthening and as our understanding of the mechanism by which colchicine works improves, multiple fields of medicine may be able to utilize the anti-inflammatory properties of this natural drug.