Intern Emerg Med. 2021 Jan 5. doi: 10.1007/s11739-020-02606-7. Online ahead of print.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of colchicine for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD), relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were identified by searching several databases from the creation date to August 31, 2020 and were reviewed. Eight eligible trials of colchicine therapy involving a total of 11, 463 patients were included (5, 776 subjects received colchicine, while 5, 687 subjects were in the respective control arms), and the outcome was reported as risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI), as the relative measure of association. Overall, the incidences of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) (RR 0.70; 95% CI 0.61-0.80), myocardial infarction (MI) (RR 0.77; 95% CI 0.64-0.94), emergency readmission due to CHD (RR 0.70; 95% CI 0.58-0.86), and ischemic stroke (RR 0.49; 95% CI 0.30-0.79) were lower in the colchicine group than in the placebo arm. We did not find a significant reduction in the incidence of all-cause mortality (RR 1.03; 95% CI 0.80-1.32). Although the incidence of diarrhea in the colchicine treatment group was higher than that in the placebo arms (RR 2.53; 95% CI 1.17, 5.48), the symptoms disappeared rapidly after drug withdrawal, and no serious adverse reactions occurred. In summary, colchicine is an accessible, safe, and effective drug that could be successfully utilized for the secondary prevention of CHD. The tolerability and benefits should be confirmed in in-depth clinical trials.