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Efficacy of Intermittent Colchicine Therapy in Familial Mediterranean Fever

DANIEL G. WRIGHT, M.D.; SHELDON M. WOLFF, M.D., F.A.C.P.; ANTHONY S. FAUCI, M.D.; and DAVID W. ALLING, M.D., Ph.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Daniel G. Wright, M.D.; Building 10, Room 11N-218, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, MD 20014.


Bethesda, Maryland


Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(2):162-165. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-86-2-162
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Nine patients with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) were admitted to a controlled, double-blind trial to determine if there are patients with this disease who are able to abort their acute episodes of pain and fever with short courses of colchicine taken at the onset of attacks. Five patients completed their treatment assignments, and colchicine was significantly effective in aborting the attacks of three but was ineffective in two. The remaining four patients could not be assessed because of insufficient numbers of courses. During the 10 months of the trial, 28 courses of colchicine and 31 of placebo were taken during the early stages of FMF attacks. Twenty-one (75%) colchicine courses were followed by attacks considered to have been aborted, compared to only three (10%) placebo courses. This trial shows that patients can recognize the prodrome of their FMF attacks and that some patients can consistently abort their attacks with short courses of colchicine taken at the very onset of symptoms.

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