Sunday, March 15, 2020


We received emails from doctors to share with our members:

Here are the guidelines to share with everyone 
  • Stay on your IBD medications: If you are feeling well, we are recommending to all patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to continue your medications, as the risk of a flare of your disease likely outweighs the risk of contracting COVID-19, Inflammation due to IBD can lead to complications and damage to your intestinal tract. Also, active inflammation associated with your disease is a significant risk factor for getting any infection. This includes immunosuppression such as immunomodulators (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate), JAK inhibitors (tofacitinib) and biologic drugs.
  • If you are taking a mesalamine: (Asacol, Apriso, Canasa, Delzicol, Lialda, Pentasa, Rowasa) or other aminosalicylates, these are all safe and are not immune suppressant medications at all.
  • Immunomodulators: Patients with IBD who are on immunosuppressive agents, like thiopurines (azathioprine, Imuran, 6-mercaptopurine, [Knows as 6MP...] cyclosporine, methotrexate), and JAK inhibitors (such as tofacitinib, (Xeljanz), Should continue their meds!.
  • Biologics/Biosimilars: If you are on Biologics including certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), golimumab (Simponi), infliximab-abda (Renflexis), infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra), infliximab-qbtx (Xifi), ustekinumab (Stelara), and vedolizumab (Entyvio), Do NOT stop taking these medications.
  • We feel it is extra important to do social distancing (avoid crowds, limit public transit, no shaking hands, etc.) and avoid any unnecessary travel. (As a doctor added: Although not possible for all, we would recommend seeing if it is feasible to work from home.)
  • If you are taking steroids: One consideration for medications is that if you are on oral steroids (prednisone/prednisolone, Budesonide Entocort EC, UCERIS), we would recommend discussing with your primary gastroenterologist if possible to taper (lower your dose) or discontinue these medications.
  • The number 1 best way to prevent COVID-19 remains good hand hygiene. This includes washing hands multiple times a day (especially before eating and after going to the bathroom) with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • This is a rapidly evolving situation so we recommend regularly checking the CDC website for updates.
  • If you feel sick, please contact your gastroenterologist, so they can guide decisions on stopping medications and when to seek in-person care.