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Therapeutic potential in COVID-19 with colchicine

Cr. Fusion Medical Animation

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Based on a study, survival rate in patients with COVID-19 was improved with the use of colchicine, which are usually used for the treatment of gout and other inflammatory disorders as compared with standard of care (SoC).

The well-recognised anti-inflammatory effects and potential antiviral properties made it as one of the drugs that was considered for the treatment of COVID-19.  140 hospitalized patients who contracted COVID-19 had their outcomes evaluated as they were treated with SoC (hydroxychloroquine and/or intravenous dexamethasone; and/or lopinavir/ritonavir) and in 122 patients treated with colchicine and SoC.

The SoC group, have lower serum concentrations of C-reactive prottein and ferritin, as well as neutrophil count but higher PaO2/FiO2 ratio at baseline.

Survival when being compared over 21 days of follow-up, it was more favourable in the colchicine than the SoC group. A lower risk of death was strongly associated with colchicine, on Cox proprortional hazards regression (hazard ratio, 0.151).

At entry, there were a higher serum levels of ferritin, worse Pa02/Fi02 and poor survival at older age for the risk factors. 

With no treatment discontinuation due to severe adverse events, colchicine had a good safety profile. In nine patients, dosing was reduced from 1 to 0.5 mg/day due to diarrhoea.

With the aim of preventing the patient’s autoinflammatory response, the current study provides proof-of-concept data supporting the possible use of colchicine in the treatment of the early phase of COVID-19.

To determine the efficacy and safety of colchicine, properly designed trials are needed with the best protocol in terms of dosage and timing of administartion in patients with COVID-19, said the researchers.

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Early ageing of ovary: A future health problem?

Cr. Andre Piacquadio

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A large cohort study that was presented at the 2020 ESHRE Meeting suggested that early ovarian ageing may be predictive of later health problems.

Few oocytes in Assisted Reproductive Technology (Art) were harvested from young women with premature ovarian ageing and were discovered to have a much higher risk of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and osteoporosis compared to those with undergoing normal ovarian ageing and happens to be in line with what was known so far regarding early menopause.

Mette Wulf Christensen from Aarhus University in Denmark suggested that a few oocytes that were repeatedly harvested in well stimulated ART cycles is a likely predictor of advanced menopausal age when seen in young women and may thus serve as an early marker of accelerated general ageing. There is also an association shown between early menopause with a greater risk of CVD, osteoporosis, and death. She also said that identifying women at risk of early menopause may thus allow early preventive health initiatives in terms of  a healthy lifestyle.

The national cohort study that was based in Danish included >19,000 young women (≤37 years) who were undergoing their first ART treatment in a fertility clinic between the period of 1995-2014 with the number of oocytes harvested in the first and following cycles serves as a marker.

In a follow-up of 6 years span, women with early ovarian ageing for overall-disease risk has a higher risk than those with a normal oocyte field and they consisted of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, all-cause death, cancer, cataract, Charlson Comorbidity index, CVD, early retirement benefit, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.

To be specific, the early ovarian ageing group was significantly more likely to develop osteoporosis, CVD, comorbidity, and have early retirement benefit than women with normal ovarian ageing.

Christhensen concluded that it is important to have a counselling towards the women who are affected with a much earlier menopause, with the introduction of a new lifestyle habit or  applying the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to reduce the adverse health risks.

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Vaccines : Proven to be safe after a two decade study


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There have been many doubts from naysayers who criticize the usage of vaccines as they claimed it could make their child get autistic and how it would make them get infected with the disease they are trying to prevent instead.

A recent US study that was conducted for over a 20-year period recently revealed that they have debunked the myths and shown that vaccines are relatively safe via existing postmarketing surveillance programmes, stated the authors.

The vaccines that were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – the initial and subsequent labels – between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2015 were included in the retrospective cohort study.

Out of the fifty-seven FDA-approved vaccines that were analysed, fifty-three (93 percent) initially had approval that were supported by randomized controlled trials, with a median cohort size of 4,161 participants.

There were similarities in the initial approval trial characteristics in vaccines with and without postmarketing, safety-related label modifications. The most common safety issue prompting label modifications was the expansion of population restrictions, followed by allergies with postmarketing surveillance as the most common source of safety data.

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