I know a lot of us are fearful of what UC patients should do with this whole COVID 19 thing (here on hw and other forums/sites), and the last thing anyone needs to do is perpetuate fear and amp up risks beyond their actual proportion. Taking any form of immunosuppression does increase our risks slightly but it is not certain doom, and they are not issuing bubbles for us to become bubble boys/girls lol. Let's say some of us do amp up the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in many posts related to this subject and it's hardly a baseless accusation (given the trail of locked posts). It's not helpful to amp up fears and scare others. Risks versus benefits are well established for our meds, and our doctors our the best source for that info.
As far as solid medical advice for IBD-specific patients and our meds the reliable information isn't wide spread. A good read on this.https://www.ioibd.org/ioibd-update-on-covid19-for-patients-with-crohns-disease-and-ulcerative-colitis/
Key wording: What are the current recommendations for IBD patients related to COVID19?
IBD is a condition of an overactive immune system, and is often treated with immune modification or immune suppression. IBD patients on immunosuppressive medications are in general, more susceptible to infection. Specifically, being on steroids or immune modulators like azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine or methotrexate can increase an IBD patient’s risk for viral infections. To date, we don’t have specific IBD research on COVID19.What are the current recommendations for IBD patients related to COVID19?
Many patients have already asked us if they should stop their medications. Medicines such as mesalamine (brand names include Asacol, Apriso, Balsalazide, Lialda, Pentasa) are all safe. It is always a good idea to get off of steroids such as prednisone/prednisilone, if this is possible. Thiopurines (6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine) and tofacitinib/xeljanz tend to inhibit the body’s immune response to viral infections. The thiopurines take months to leave the body. Thus stopping these will not help in the short term. The biologics we currently use to treat IBD such as anti-TNFs (Cimzia, Humira, Remicade, Simponi), ustekinumab (Stelara), vedolizumab (Entyvio) are generally safe. At present we do not recommend stopping these medications. Moreover, the effect of these medications stay in the body, in many cases, for months. We will keep updating these recommendations as more data become available.