Covid: Colchicine not working in hospitalized sick, Recovery trial found

Published by Laurent P. · Updated on 20 May 2021 at 11h43 · Published on 20 May 2021 at 11h19
Is Colchicine not working in Covid sick already at the hospital? This is the conclusion found by the Recovery trial in a study released this Tuesday May 18, explaining the use of this therapy "was not associated with reductions in mortality, duration of hospital stay, or risk of progressing to invasive mechanical ventilation or death". Yet, this was a promising molecule, according to Montreal Heart Institute in a study released in March 2020 explaining Colchicine was said to be effective against Coronavirus, according to primary results from a clinical trial.

Colchicine seems eventually not to be the miracle cure to reduce Covid mortality... Anyway, this is what conclude scientists working for the wide UK Recovery clinical trial, explaining in a pre-print study issued this Monday May 17 the use of Colchicine "was not associated with reductions in mortality, duration of hospital stay, or risk of progressing to invasive mechanical ventilation or death".

The trial was based on 11,000 patients divided into two groups - one given the therapy, the other a placebo - and "unfortunately" did not provide "clinical benefits", one of Recovery heads Peter Horby explained on Twitter. "There were sound reasons for thinking it might work [...] we found out colchicine doesn't work" another Recovery scientist, Martin Landray said.

The efficacy of Colchicine was already questioned this past January after the scientific committee as Montreal Heart Institute published a release explaining otherwise. The problem was that data from the clinical trial led in March 2020 were not available to every scientist wishing to check results, as they had only been suggested in a press release. Another problem: 329 participants in the clinical trial had been excluded from the study without explanation in the 4,488 patients first given by the institute.

For the record, in March 2020, Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) leads a study, called ColCorona, focusing on a treatment said to be effective against the disease. “We are pleased to offer the first oral medication in the world whose use could have a significant impact on public health” the study main author, Jean-Claude Tardif, says. This is Colchicine, “a powerful anti-inflammatory with a good safety profile already used for the treatment of goutQuebec university hospital microbiologist-infectious disease specialist and clinical trial associate Guy Boivin explains.

A molecule also known to cure chondrocalcinosis, a disease that translates into the calcification of joint, as well as other – and rare – infections such as Familial Mediterranean Fever and Becet’s disease.

What did the March 2020’s clinical trial consisted in? It has bene led in 4,488 patients in the United-States, South Africa, Spain, Canada, and Brazil. A study that included two groups, one given Colchicine as treatment, the other given placebo, the whole being double-blinded (patients, nor doctors knew who got what).

According to the press release issued this Saturday by the Institute, “colchicine has reduced by 21% the risk of death or hospitalizations in patients with COVID-19 compared to placebo”. In the 4,159 patients who tested positive to the virus, via PCR, “colchicine reduced hospitalizations by 25%, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50%, and deaths by 44%” the study explains.

Works are yet not enough to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. Moreover, no data on volunteers’ profiles – to check if the medicine was effective or if there is another reason that could have originated these results. Anyway, Montreal Heart Institute has told Le Parisien that they will soon publish a release as it is being “drawn up” and therefore soon available to be read by scientists.

We also remind you that this past March 5, according to our peers from RTLRecovery trial scientists were already doubtful about this Covid cure and decided to stop the part of the clinical trial focusing on this therapy.

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