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Management of familial Mediterranean fever

Stephen E Goldfinger, MD
Section Editor
J Thomas Lamont, MD
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH


Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is characterized by sporadic, paroxysmal attacks of fever and serositis, with intervening asymptomatic periods that may range from as little as one week to many months. The major cause of mortality is the insidious development of secondary (AA) amyloidosis with eventual renal failure. (See "Pathogenesis of secondary (AA) amyloidosis".)

The goals of therapy for FMF are twofold:

Prevention of acute attacks

Prevention of the development and progression of amyloidosis

Early attempts to treat FMF with a variety of measures, including antibiotics, glucocorticoids, salicylates, antihistamines, antimalarials, and low-fat diets, used either prophylactically or during acute attacks, provided little benefit. It has now become clear that the disease can be managed successfully only by prophylactic treatment with colchicine.


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 23, 2014.
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