Ancient rheumatism drug reduces recurring inflammation around heart

March 30, 2014 7:38 PM

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WASHINGTON, March 30 (Reuters) - A drug that was used in the time of the pharaohs for rheumatism has proven highly effective in treating recurrent bouts of pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart, according to findings of a new clinical trial.

The ancient medicine, colchicine, which has also been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory agent for acute gout, was tested against placebo in a 240-patient pericarditis trial.

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