House Call: Treating IBD Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic

David T. Rubin, MD, discusses some of the reccomendations for treating patients with IBD during the pandemic.

The immunosuppressants used to treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be particularly concerning as many are worried about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) attacking immunocompromised individuals.

Recently, the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) released a set of new recommendations for IBD patients in managing the disease while limiting the risk of negative outcomes should they contract COVID-19.

The new guidance suggest patients with IBD should continue IBD therapies, including all scheduled infusions and patients with IBD who develop COVID-19 should to stop medications such as thiopurines, methotrexate, and tofacitinib, as well as biological therapies including anti-TNF, ustekinumab, and vedolizumab until their symptoms subside.

However, a large portion of patients with COVID-19 become asymptomatic and do not always know whether or not they have the virus.

In an interview with HCPLive® David T. Rubin, MD, University of Chicago Medicine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, explained how some of the asymptomatic patients should proceed and what gastroenterology patients in general should be cognizant of during the pandemic.