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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Pericardial Diseases

Question: Pericardial window and pericardial effusion

 Barbara - Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:21 pm

I have had a very large effusion.
I first had to have it drained, almost a liter of fluid removed. It came back just as bad within a month, so next they put in a window. They ran tests on the fluid and the piece they removed for the window, but could not determine a cause of the fluid except for inflamation. The window closed in about six weeks, and the fluid built back up quickly. I was weak and out of breath. I had read about a small study done in Isr. using colchicine and I begged my doctor to try it before he removed the bottom of the sack around my heart. He did not want to "bother" with it, but the doctor that was to do the surgery agreed to try it and said he had read about it too. Within a week I felt better. I changed heart doctors and my new doctor agreed to keep me on colchicine even though he had not treated any effusions with it. I have not had any bad side effects and I feel like I've been given my life back! Over the last 7 or 8 months the effusion has gone from large to med. to small! I am a single parent with a child with health problems, and I was terrified of loosing more work, and even my job. Colchicine has been a true blessing for me. Even if I eventually have to have the major surgery, and have the bottom of the sack removed, this has given me time to start catching up on bills, and take care of my daughter.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Jan 01, 2005 11:51 am

User avatar Dear Barbara,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

Colchicine has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Its exact mechanism is unknown but it inhibits the inflammatory response tremendously. It has been used for quite a while in treatment of an uncommon disease called familial mediterranean fever which is inflammation of the membranes surroundings the organs in the abdomen, the lungs and the heart and it has been used for a long time in the treatment of chronic gout as well.

It was investigated by the Danes as early as 1992 in the treatment of chronic pericardial effusion.

Medical professionsals do not always try to find new medications but try to find new indications for old drugs as well.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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