A clinical and immunologic study of colchicine in asthma

Yehuda A. Schwarz, Shmuel Kivity, David N. Ilfeld*, Menachem Schlesinger, Joel Greif, Marcel Topilsky, Moshe S. Garty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A double-blind, randomized, crossover chronic study was done to determine the efficacy of colchicine in 10 atopic patients with asthma. A constant dose of sustained-release theophylline and albuterol by inhalation, as needed, was administered. Compared to placebo, colchicine, 0.5 mg twice daily, significantly reduced the mean (± SEM) daily clinical score from 2.18 ± 0.34 to 1.64 ± 0.32 (p < 0.05), and the daily number of inhalations of albuterol from 5.89 ± 1.48 to 4.01 ± 1.26 (p < 0.02). Colchicine significantly (p < 0.05) increased the concanavalin A-induced suppressor cell function from 16.2 ± 4.6% to 39.0 ± 10.7%, which was similar to healthy volunteers (41.1 ± 3.5%). Furthermore, colchicine significantly (p < 0.05) decreased serum IgE from 248 ± 63 to 188 ± 46 IU/ml. Colchicine had no significant effect on pulmonary function tests, the early phase reaction of antigen-induced bronchial inhalation challenge, and immediate skin test responses. Thus, colchicine has immunomodulatory effects that may perhaps have a mild benefit in the treatment of asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-582
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1990


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