Colchicine: a new ally for cardiovascular health

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Colchicine is an orally administered drug which has been garnering a lot of interest in the past few months. It has recently been the subject of scientific studies that have identified new indications. Let’s take a look at this readily available drug that represents a new hope for people with a variety of health conditions.

What is colchicine?

Colchicine comes from the autumn crocus, a plant with purple flowers. Discovered by the Egyptians around 1200 B.C.E., it mainly grows in mountainous regions in Europe but can also be found in Asia and Africa. This plant can reach up to 40 centimetres in height and live for several years.

Colchicine, which is extracted from the bulb and seeds of the flower, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

In fact, it has proven to be very effective in the treatment and prevention of:

  • gout
  • Familial Mediterranean Fever
  • Severe, recurring, or relapsing pericarditis
  • Certain additional cardiovascular problems listed below

A solution after a heart attack

In November 2019, Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Montreal Heart Institute’s Research Centre, revealed the results of the COLCOT study which demonstrate that taking colchicine for a long period of time, in addition to standard treatments such as aspirin and statins, may have a preventive effect. More specifically, taking colchicine after a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, reduces the risk of developing complications. This research is a beacon of hope for every patient suffering from heart disease!

A widely accessible medication

In addition to its numerous benefits, colchicine is a low-cost drug that is available almost everywhere and is relatively well tolerated by humans.

But like with any other medication, patients need to make sure they take the dosage prescribed by their physician and follow their pharmacist’s instructions.

Side effects of colchicine

Just like with other drugs, some people might experience undesirable side effects. Even if most people who take colchicine tolerate it very well, a few might suffer from diarrhea or nausea. If you experience these side effects, notify your physician or pharmacist.

Even though colchicine is a medication that has long been prescribed for a variety of conditions, it has also proven it can be used in new ways thanks to its beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, as revealed by the COLCOT study. Research plays a key role in improving cardiovascular health and has been made possible thanks to the support of our generous donors. Find out more about the impact of their donations.

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