December 11, 1967

Erythema Nodosum Treatment With Colchicine

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1967;202(11):1056. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130240098025

To the Editor:—  We recently reported our experience with the diagnostic use of colchicine (199:525, 1967). In this paper, we described one patient with erythema nodosum and arthritis who had a dramatic improvement in her joint manifestations and a gradual clearing of the nodose skin lesions after receiving colchicine.A much earlier record of the benefit in erythema nodosum to be obtained with colchicine has come to our attention. John Elliotson, MD, FRS, Professor of Principles and Practice of Medicine at the University of London, delivered a clinical lecture on erythema on Jan 16, 1832, which was subsequently published in Lancet.1 Dr. Elliotson, after describing erythema nodosum, recommended elevation of the legs, bleeding, and purging as therapy. "The best internal medicine is colchicum." It is clear that he considered colchicum's effect as that of a superior purgative. If colchicum is taken "until it purges briskly, the disease rapidly