November 1984

Colchicine Therapy for Refractory Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor. Dr Strother is now at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Drs Zuckerman and LoBuglio are now at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(11):2198-2200. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400020110017

• Fourteen patients with Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) refractory to splenectomy and corticosteroids (prednisone, 1 to 2 mg/kg of body weight per day) received at least 1.2 mg of oral colchicine daily for a minimum of two weeks. Three patients had complete responses and one had a partial response (response rate, 29%). Responses were evident within two weeks of commencing therapy. Only the patient with a partial response was receiving concomitant therapy, a stable dose of prednisone. Responsiveness to colchicine did not seem to correlate with responsiveness to vincristine sulfate. Side effects of colchicine therapy were mild and complications did not occur. A possible mechanism of action for colchicine in ITP is decreased clearance of opsonized platelets secondary to inhibition of microtubule-dependent events In macrophages. Colchicine Is useful in the treatment of ITP resistant to standard treatment.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:2198-2200)