, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 389-394
Date: 25 Aug 2009

Colchicine is effective for short-term treatment of slow transit constipation: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial

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Abstract

Purpose

Although colchicine has been tested in clinical trials for treatment of constipation, the index groups in those trials were composed of special patient groups with developmental neuromuscular defects or failed surgical management. The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of colchicine in patients with refractory slow transit constipation.

Materials and methods

Sixty patients with chief complaint of chronic constipation due to slow transit consented to be included in the double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. These patients were randomly divided into two groups (each containing 30 patients) to receive either colchicine, 1 mg QD, (group A) or placebo (group B) for 2 months. At the end of the study, Knowles–Eccersly–Scot symptom (KESS, a valid technique to assist in the diagnosis and evaluation of symptoms in constipation) scores were compared between the case and control groups.

Results

The mean KESS score measured at the end of 2 months was 11.67 ± 3.91 for colchicine and 18.66 ± 3.72 for placebo group (p = 0.0001).

Conclusion

This trial shows that low-dose colchicine is effective in treatment of slow transit constipation.