The Potential Role of Colchicine in Reducing Mortality and Mechanical Ventilation Rates in COVID-19 Infection: A Meta-analysis
Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, doi:10.9734/jammr/2022/v34i2031503
Background: Colchicine is one of many drugs being repurposed for COVID-19 due to its potential as an anti-inflammatory agent alongside its easy accessibility and oral administration. This study aims to identify the risk reduction in mortality and mechanical ventilation of colchicine-treated COVID-19 patients compared to the standard of care/placebo. Methods: A systematic search was conducted until December 31, 2021, with keywords including Colchicine, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, anti-inflammatory, trials, clinical, mechanical ventilation, death, and mortality. Databases including MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane, WHO Global Database, and Preprint servers were searched. Using dichotomous data for all values, the risk ratios (RR) were calculated by applying the random-effects model in Review Manager 5.4.
Results: The 12 studies pooled 17,297 participants, with 8,528 patients in the colchicine group and 8,769 in the standard care group. Colchicine treatment led to a statistically significant reduction in the risk of death (RR=0.63, 95% CI=0.48-0.84, P=0.001). Moderately high heterogeneity was present among the included studies (I 2 =72%). While insignificant, the risk of mechanical ventilation was decreased by 12% among the colchicine group (RR=0.88, 95% CI=0.64-1.22, P=0.44). Conclusions: While this meta-analysis finds overall reductions in mortality with colchicine treatment, these findings must be utilized with caution. Placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials are warranted at a large scale to validate the viability of colchicine as an adjuvant treatment for COVID-19. On obtaining more concrete findings, the potential role of colchicine may be better optimized in non-severe patients as well, across in-hospital and outpatient settings.
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