Is it safe to come in for an infusion?
It is absolutely safe to visit the infusion clinic to receive your medications. We are working very hard to protect you and your child. We are prescreening everyone for exposure or symptoms of COVID-19 and all people entering the buildings are being questions about any potential symptoms. We are ensuring physical distancing rules are followed and clinic staff and nurses are using the proper equipment to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
Who can accompany the patient to an infusion or any in person visit?
One healthy adult may accompany all pediatric patients to their appointments. They will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 as are the patients.
Available data suggest that patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) are not at higher risk of infection. Therefore, the general recommendation is to stay on your IBD therapies with the goal of sustaining remission and controlling the symptoms. Patients should maintain their medication regimens and other therapies to avoid relapse of their disease. Similar to the recommendations to the general populations, patients with IBD should practice strict social distancing, work from home, practice hand hygiene, and separate from any known infected individuals.
For patients with IBD who are infected with SAR-CoV-2 - how should their treatment be modified?
You should definitely call your doctor if you have tested positive for the virus. Medicines such as mesalamine, sulfasalazine, and antibiotics likely do not need to be altered. Most likely there will be a change in your medications IF they are in the category of suppressing the immune system. The dose of prednisone will likely be lowered and other medications such as 6-MP, azathioprine, methotrexate, anti-TNF alpha (Remicade, Humira, Cimzia), vedolizumab, Stelara and tofacitinib will likely be temporarily held. It is very important to have a conversation with your primary GI doctor should this be the case.