Here is a summary of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) COVID-19 guidelines issued by organizations such as the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) and the International Organisation for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IOIBD).
Patients with IBD but not Infected by the Coronavirus
- The AGA notes that available data suggests that people with IBD do not have a higher probability of getting SARS-CoV-2 compared to the general populations.
- It recommends that people with IBD continue on their current regimens to avoid a relapse. The guidelines issued by the AGA also recommends that this group should adopt the recommendations provided to the general population such as social distancing and working from home.
- The AGA guideline also notes that the IOIBD supports the ongoing use of infusion centers, as long as these centers take proactive actions such as having a COVID-19 screening protocol in place. This protocol should include: "prescreening of patients for exposure or symptoms of COVID-19, fever checks at the door, adequate spacing between chairs (minimum of 6 feet), masks and gloves used by providers and provided to patients, and adequate deep cleaning after patient departure."
- The guideline also notes that IBD patients should avoid elective switching to injectable therapies or home infusions.
- The IOIBD recommends that gastroenterologists should reduce the dose of prednisone or stop it entirely to prevent infection from SARS-CoV-2. The prevailing votes also recommend that other IBD therapies be continued.
- The group also voted to "discontinue the immune modulator in a patient who is known to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 or when a patient develops COVID-19." However, the group was uncertain if the dosage of immune modulators should be reduced or not in uninfected patients.
- The group also recommends that patients who had to stop their IBD medications because they tested positive for the coronavirus or because they had symptoms of COVID-19, should continue their medications if they develop no symptoms after two weeks in the case of the former, or wait till the symptoms have completely resolved in the case of the latter.