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Colchicine in cardiovascular disease: an ancient drug with modern tricks
  1. David C Tong1,2,
  2. Andrew M Wilson1,2,3,
  3. Jamie Layland1,2,4
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Peninsula Health, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Monash University, Frankston, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Associate Professor Jamie Layland, Department of Medicine, Peninsula Health, 2 Hastings Road, Frankston, VIC 3199, Australia; Jlayland{at}


From the dark history of being a poison and purgative, colchicine has risen to become one of the few irrefutable positives in the history of pharmacology in the management of myriad inflammatory conditions. Colchicine exerts its action through binding to tubulin, which in turn affects several cellular processes and pathways modulating the inflammatory response. Despite narrow therapeutic-toxicity window and the most common complaint of gastrointestinal upset, its list of medicinal use is expanding in recent years as we continue to unravel the mystery of this ancient remedy. In this review, we summarise the history of colchicine use, discuss its pharmacokinetics and mechanism of actions, and examine the most up-to-date evidence of colchicine in the treatment of various cardiac conditions with a focus on cardiovascular disease.

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