Colchicine versus prednisone as treatment of usual interstitial pneumonia

William W. Douglas, Jay H. Ryu, Julie A. Bjoraker, Darrell R. Schroeder, Jeffrey L. Myers, Henry D. Tazelaar, Stephen J. Swensen, Paul D. Scanlon, Steve G. Peters, Richard A. Deremee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the results with colchicine and prednisone as initial single-drug therapy in patients with usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). Material and Methods: We reviewed the serial pulmonary function test results in 22 patients with typical clinical and high-resolution computed tomographic features of UIP who were treated with colchicine as initial single-agent therapy and compared them with a group of 22 historical patients with UIP of similar severity diagnosed by open-lung biopsy who were given prednisone as initial single-drug therapy. Results: No significant difference was detected in the rate of decline of pulmonary function or in the time to 'failure' between the two study groups. A trend was suggested for more rapid decline of pulmonary function in the prednisone-treated than in the colchicine-treated group. The design of this study does not allow distinction between a possible beneficial effect of colchicine and a possible adverse effect related to weaning from high-dose prednisone. Colchicine was well tolerated; few side effects other than mild diarrhea were noted in those patients able to take the drug long enough to return for pulmonary function testing at 3 months. In comparison, the side effects of prednisone were more serious and were not always reversible with cessation of therapy. Conclusion: This study lends further support to the assumption that colchicine may be a satisfactory and less hazardous substitute for prednisone in the treatment of patients with UIP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Colchicine versus prednisone as treatment of usual interstitial pneumonia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this