Frequency and severity of COVID-19 in patients with various rheumatic diseases treated regularly with colchicine or hydroxychloroquine

Oztas M., BEKTAŞ M., KARACAN İ., Aliyeva N., DAĞ A., Aghamuradov S., ...More

JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jmv.27731
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: colchicine, covid-19, Famial Mediterranean fever, hydroxychloroquine, rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease


This study aimed to investigate whether patients regularly using colchicine or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have an advantage of protection from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or developing less severe disease. Patients who were taking colchicine or HCQ regularly for a rheumatic disease including Familial Mediterranean Fever, Behcet's syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome, as well as their healthy household contacts as the control group, were included in the study. The clinical data regarding COVID-19 were collected using a standard form, and serum samples were analyzed for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) nucleocapsid immunoglobulin G (IgG). A total of 635 regular colchicine users with their 643 household contacts and 317 regular HCQ users with their 333 household contacts were analyzed. Anti-SARS-COV-2 IgG was positive in 43 (6.8%) regular colchicine users and 35 (5.4%) household contacts (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]:0.8-2; p = 0.3). COVID-19-related symptoms were described by 29 (67.4%) of the patients and 17 (48.6%) household contacts (OR = 2.2; 95% CI :0.9-5.5; p = 0.09), and hospital admission was observed in five (11.6%) and one (2.9%) of these subjects (OR = 4.5; 95% CI: 0.5-40.2; p = 0.1), respectively. Seropositive subjects were observed in 22 (6.9%) regular HCQ users and 24 (7.2%) household contacts (OR = 1.1; 95% CI: 0.6-1.9; p = 0.8). COVID-19-related symptoms occurred in 16 (72.7%) of the 22 patients and 12 (50%) of 24 household contacts (OR = 2.7; 95% CI: 0.8-9.1; p = 0.1). Three patients (13.6%) were admitted to hospital, while one household contact (4.2%) was hospitalized (OR = 3.6; 95% CI: 0.3-37.8; p = 0.2). Being on a regular treatment of colchicine or HCQ did not result in the prevention of COVID-19 or amelioration of its manifestations.