IBD Patients and COVID-19

IBD Patient Guidance – COVID-19

With the recent world-wide pandemic from COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus), the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has issued updated guidelines for patients with IBD to help protect themselves from this virus. The topics cover such things as when to stay home from work/school/events, how to get information from credible sources, who is considered a high-risk person, travel and large event recommendations, guidance on elective surgical procedures, as well as what medications and supplies to have on hand.

The link to these updates can be found here:

https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/coronavirus-update/adults

We would encourage all our IBD patients to visit this website and read these guidelines and recommendations in their entirety.

Some specific points to highlight include:

High risk individuals include:

  • All patients with IBD on immunosuppressive medications (see below for details)
  • Those with weakened immune systems, which includes those with IBD
  • Those who are pregnant or recently pregnant
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease (including asthma), diabetes, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, and certain endocrine and metabolic disorders.

** Individuals at high risk for COVID-19 should stay at home and avoid public gatherings with more than 10 people **

IBD Medications

  • IBD patients should stay on their IBD medications. 
      • Always talk to your gastroenterologist if you have questions or concerns
  • Mesalamines (aka Asacol, Apriso, Delzicol, Lialda, Pentasa, Canasa, Rowasa) or other aminosalicylates are all safe and are not immune suppressant medications
  • Check with your gastroenterologist if you take steroids (aka Prednisone/Prednisolone, Budesonide, Entocort, Uceris) as some may suppress the immune system
  • Do not stop taking immunomodulators (aka Imuran/Azathioprine, 6-MP/Mercaptopurine, Methotrexate, ect..)
  • Do not stop taking biologics/biosimilars (aka Remicade, Entyvio, Cimzia, Humira, Stelara, Simponi, ect..) and talk to your gastroenterologist to see if adjustment to medications need to be made. 
  • Do not stop the Jak inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljianz)

** If your medication requires an infusion please do not skip these appointments **

General

  • All IBD patients should follow guidelines from the CDC and local public health departments regarding events and travel. 
      • IBD Patients on immunosuppressants and biologics/biosimilars should not travel or gather in large groups.
  • IBD patients should contact their insurance company to see if there are any updated changes to their policies related to medication coverage, refills, supplies, and other support.  
      • Please note that to date there have been no shortages reported on supplies or medications for IBD. The FDA continues to closely monitor the medical supply chain.

 

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