DOH doing trials for gout drug colchicine as Covid treatment | Inquirer News

DOH doing trials for gout drug colchicine as Covid treatment

/ 05:38 AM January 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government may conduct clinical trials for colchicine, a drug for gout that has reportedly shown efficacy in treating Covid-19 in Canada.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday expressed openness to including the off-label use of colchicine in ongoing trials to find a treatment for Covid-19.


“It’s possible that we may have a trial on this drug, but we still have to get the protocols that Canada followed to be able to benefit from this unexpected, serendipitous effect of colchicine’s off-label application outside of gouty arthritis, used for another indication such as Covid-19,” Duque said.

Primary use

A technical advisory group is in charge of clinical trials for possible Covid-19 treatments, such as virgin coconut oil.


“Colchicine is primarily used to treat gout, that’s the number one indication for this particular medication. There are studies showing the positive effects of colchicine on Covid-19 patients and they are studying if this can prevent Covid-19,” Duque said.

He, however, warned the public against using colchicine to self-medicate against Covid-19 and its complications.

“We still have to wait for additional data from other countries [that] are conducting their studies on this drug. And you must also heed the advice of your doctor. Consult first with them, since your doctors are in the best position to guide you on this,” Duque said.

Last week, the Montreal Heart Institute found “clinically persuasive results of colchicine’s efficacy to treat Covid-19,” noting that the drug reduced the risk of death for Covid-19 patients by 21 percent.

An inexpensive, anti-inflammatory drug, colchicine is commonly used to treat symptoms of gout.

Its off-label use to treat COVID-19 complications will also need the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Prescription drug

“We will also study this in order to have adequate evidence of its therapeutic use, and we will also need the clearance of the FDA for its off-label use to treat Covid-19,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told a news briefing on Wednesday.


Vergeire also reminded the public that colchicine, while inexpensive, is a prescription drug and should not be bought over the counter.

“This should be used only under the supervision of a doctor or in a hospital setting,” she added.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Canada, colchicine, COVID-19, DoH, gout, treatment
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