Experimental and clinical evidence supports the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis and its complications. Colchicine is an orally administered, potent antiinflammatory medication that is indicated for the treatment of gout and pericarditis.
We performed a randomized, double-blind trial involving patients recruited within 30 days after a myocardial infarction. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either low-dose colchicine (0.5 mg once daily) or placebo. The primary efficacy end point was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, resuscitated cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, stroke, or urgent hospitalization for angina leading to coronary revascularization. The components of the primary end point and safety were also assessed.
A total of 4745 patients were enrolled; 2366 patients were assigned to the colchicine group, and 2379 to the placebo group. Patients were followed for a median of 22.6 months. The primary end point occurred in 5.5% of the patients in the colchicine group, as compared with 7.1% of those in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61 to 0.96; P=0.02). The hazard ratios were 0.84 (95% CI, 0.46 to 1.52) for death from cardiovascular causes, 0.83 (95% CI, 0.25 to 2.73) for resuscitated cardiac arrest, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.68 to 1.21) for myocardial infarction, 0.26 (95% CI, 0.10 to 0.70) for stroke, and 0.50 (95% CI, 0.31 to 0.81) for urgent hospitalization for angina leading to coronary revascularization. Diarrhea was reported in 9.7% of the patients in the colchicine group and in 8.9% of those in the placebo group (P=0.35). Pneumonia was reported as a serious adverse event in 0.9% of the patients in the colchicine group and in 0.4% of those in the placebo group (P=0.03).
Among patients with a recent myocardial infarction, colchicine at a dose of 0.5 mg daily led to a significantly lower risk of ischemic cardiovascular events than placebo. (Funded by the Government of Quebec and others; COLCOT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02551094. opens in new tab.)