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April 9, 2020

How to treat IBD patients during the pandemic

AGA releases official guidance advising that many patients with IBD who develop COVID-19 should stop their medication.
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Today we release new COVID-19 guidance for gastroenterologists treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This expert commentary was developed by leading IBD experts David T. Rubin, MD, AGAF, Joseph D. Feuerstein, MD, Andrew Y. Wang, MD, AGAF, and Russell D. Cohen, MD, AGAF, FACG, using available and emerging evidence. Check it out in Gastroenterology: AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Commentary.

AGA members: speak with the authors about IBD management during the pandemic in the AGA Community.

 

Recommendations for gastroenterologists & their patients who have IBD:

  • 1. During this pandemic, patients with IBD should continue IBD therapies including scheduled infusions.
  • 2. Having IBD does not appear to increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or the development of COVID-19.
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. Doctors should submit cases of IBD and confirmed COVID-19 to the SECURE-IBD registry at COVIDIBD.org.

For more information, review the full publication in Gastroenterologyand join the AGA Community discussion.

This expert commentary was commissioned and approved by the AGA Institute Clinical Practice Updates Committee (CPUC) and the AGA Governing Board to provide a timely perspective on a topic of high clinical importance to AGA membership, and underwent internal peer review by the CPUC and external peer review through the standard procedures of Gastroenterology.

Resources
Reference

Rubin DT, Feuerstein JD, Wang AY, Cohen RD, AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Commentary, Gastroenterology (2020), https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.04.012

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