The nitrogen-containing compound, colchicine, has been used medicinally for millennia. It was first isolated from the plant Colchicum autumnale, by the French chemists P.S. Pelletier and J. Caventon. Today, colchicine is primarily used for the treatment of gout and auto-inflammatory diseases, such as familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), but it has been also investigated for its therapeutic utility in a number of respiratory diseases such as asthma, chonic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. While colchicine has shown some promise as an adjuvant to corticosteroid treatment, the benefit of the drug remains to be elucidated. The lack of serious adverse effects of oral colchicine at therapeutic levels should ease the design of more specific trials.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary diease
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis