Colchicine: no clinical benefits against COVID-19 in pooled analysis of RCTs

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

Results from a pooled analysis of available studies reports from using the anti-inflammatory gout medication colchicine against clinical risks from COVID-19, including hospitalisation or mortality.

It also reported an increased risk of side effects, including diarrhoea. [1]

The analysis included results from six randomised controlled trials involving more than 16,000 participants. Level of evidence for the GRADE analysis was generally moderate.

However, the six studies used different designs and doses and 5/6 studies were in more advanced infection when participants were already hospitalised. This is not discussed in the paper.

The single study in early COVID-19 was a Canadian study that in January 2021, reported benefits at reducing hospitalisation (Tardif et al). However, this study discontinued recruiting before full enrolment (at approximately 75%) after a positive signal of benefit. At this stage, by ITT analysis, the benefit was not statistically significant. [2]


  1. Mehta KG et al. Efficacy and safety of colchicine in COVID-19: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. doi: 10.1136/rmdopen-2021-001746.
  2. Oral colchicine reduces hospitalisation in international randomised phase 3 outpatient study. HTB (January 2021).

This report was firt posted on 24 November 2021.

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.