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Colchicine as an adjunct to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of acute pericarditis

Report by: Alex Eppert, Emergency Medicine Resident

Search checked by: Janos P Baombe, Senior Emergency Trainee

Institution: Grand Rapid Medical Education and Research Center, Michigan State University, Michigan, US and Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK

Clinical scenario

A 32-year-old woman with no significant medical history presents to the emergency department with chest pain and dyspnoea. A pericardial friction rub is heard on examination. The ECG shows PR depression and widespread saddle shaped ST elevation. You diagnose acute pericarditis and prescribe a course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, recalling that colchicine may be useful for recurrent pericarditis, you wonder whether it is effective for a first episode of acute pericarditis.

Three-part question

In [adult patients with a first episode of acute pericarditis] is [colchicine plus NSAIDs better than NSAIDs alone] at …

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