Acute idiopathic pericarditis (AIP) is a benign inflammatory condition associated with high recurrence rates. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) and colchicine are the recommended therapies. Our objective was to systematically assess effects of pharmacological therapies on recurrences or treatment failure in patients with first and subsequent AIP episodes. PubMed, BioMedCentral, Cochrane, Clinicaltrials.gov, Google Scholar and EMBASE (Ovid) were searched up to April 2020 for randomized controlled trials (RCT) evaluating NSAIDs, indomethacin, colchicine, steroids, intravenous immunoglobulins, immunomodulators, or interleukin receptor antagonists in adult patients with acute episode of idiopathic pericarditis. Mantel-Haenzel random effects models were used for meta-analyses, and effects were reported as odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI). Six RCTs of colchicine plus NSAIDs (n=914 patients) and one RCT of anakinra (n=21) were found. No RCTs testing NSAIDs or corticosteroids were identified. Colchicine plus NSAIDs and anakinra significantly reduced recurrence (OR 0.37; 95%CI 0.27-0.51; and OR 0.02; 95%CI, 0.00-0.32, respectively). Colchicine plus NSAIDs also reduced treatment failure (OR 0.29; 95%CI 0.21-0.41). No differences in adverse events between colchicine and placebo were found (OR 1.16; 95%CI 0.72 to 1.86). In conclusion, Colchicine plus NSAIDS and anakinra are efficacious for preventing AIP recurrences. Colchicine reduces treatment failure as well. Although its use is supported by clinical experience, no solid evidence is currently available for the role of NSAIDs or steroids in the treatment of AIP.