The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has published new COVID-19 guidance for gastroenterologists treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Patients with IBD have particular concerns for their risk for infection and management of their medical therapies during the COVID-19 pandemic. This clinical practice update (AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Commentary) incorporates the emerging understanding of COVID-19 and summarises available guidance for patients with IBD and the providers who take care of them.
Recommendations for gastroenterologists and their patients who have IBD are:
- During this pandemic, patients with IBD should continue IBD therapies including scheduled infusions.
- Having IBD does not appear to increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or the development of COVID-19.
- Instructions for patients with IBD who develop COVID-19 (fever, respiratory symptoms, digestive symptoms, etc):
a. Stop thiopurines, methotrexate, tofacitinib.
b. Stop biological therapies (including anti-TNF, ustekinumab, vedolizumab).
c. Can restart therapies after complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms. Patients should always speak with their health care team before stopping any medication. Patients should always speak with their health care team before stopping any medication.
- Doctors should submit cases of IBD and confirmed COVID-19 to the SECURE-IBD registry at COVIDIBD.org.