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From today, the UK’s national priority platform trial of Covid-19 treatments for recovery at home launches its investigation of the gout drug colchicine, and expands for the first time to include adults of any age.

Image of coronaviruses, tablets and a chemical structure of colchicine. © Shutterstock & University of Oxford

Led by University of Oxford researchers, the Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against Covid-19 In older peoPLE (PRINCIPLE) trial is investigating treatments for early-stage Covid-19 that can reduce overall recovery time and the burden of symptoms, and prevent the need for hospital admission.

Colchicine is an inexpensive anti-inflammatory drug widely used in the UK for many years as a treatment for acute gout. In Canada’s ColCorona trial, the drug has recently shown promise in reducing hospital admissions in patients with Covid-19, yet little is known about its effectiveness in reducing recovery time or the burden of the illness.

Previously, only those with Covid-19 aged 50 or over and at most risk of complications from the illness were eligible to join the PRINCIPLE trial. For the colchicine arm, the trial now includes participants either aged 18-64 with shortness of breath from the illness or certain underlying health conditions that put them at risk of severe illness, or those aged over 65. Participants are only eligible to join the trial during the first 14 days of Covid-19 illness.

Read the full story on the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences website

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