Colchicine Not Effective for Reducing Osteoarthritic Hand Pain

June 9, 2020

By Eric Ramos

CHICAGO -- June 8, 2020 -- Colchicine 1 mg/day for 12 weeks was not effective in improving pain, tender and swollen joint count, or grip strength in patients with symptomatic hand osteoarthritis, according to a study presented at the 2020 Virtual Meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

“Current pharmacotherapies to treat or prevent hand osteoarthritis are limited,” reported Courtney Davis, MD, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. Unfortunately, “this study does not support colchicine for treatment of symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.”

The COLAH study randomised community-dwelling adults aged 48 to 79 years with hand osteoarthritis to receive colchicine 0.5 mg twice daily (n = 27) or placebo f(n = 31) or 12 weeks.

Visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores (worst affected hand) were obtained at baseline and at weeks 6, 12, and after treatment withdrawal at week 16.

VAS scores improved during treatment, but were comparable between groups at all time-points. Mean VAS pain score at baseline was 71.4 in the colchicine group, which improved to 53.5 at 6 weeks, 57.1 at 12 weeks, and back up to 62.0 after treatment withdrawal. Mean VAS pain score at baseline in the placebo group was 65.4, which improved to 53.9 at 6 weeks, 48.4 at 12 weeks, and back up to 61.6 after treatment withdrawal at week 16.

There were no differences between groups at week 12 for C-reactive protein (4.5 mg/L vs 4.0 mg/L), tender and swollen joint count (5.6 vs 3.8), or grip strength (14.4 kg vs 15.3 kg).

Adverse events related to study medications included nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, bloating, and reflux.

[Presentation title: Colchicine Is Not Effective for Reducing Osteoarthritic Hand Pain Compared to Placebo: a Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Trial (COLAH). Abstract FRI0399]