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Following recent meetings of the IBD teams, our advice to our patients with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis is as follows, but this may change.

To decrease the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) complications, it is important that your Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis is under control or in remission.

Should I continue to take my medication?

Generally, we advise that it's important to continue to take your medication, but there are exceptions to this (see below).

  • Medications like the suppositories and enemas should be continued as usual
  • Oral (by mouth) medications such as mesalazine (Octasa, Asacol, Pentasa, Mezavant) or balsalazide (Colazide) are not a risk so should be continued, and you can increase and decrease the tablets as normal
  • If you are taking steroid tablets, such as prednisolone you must not stop this medication, please contact the IBD helpline for personalised information
  • Do not stop immune suppressing medications such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate and thalidomide
  • If you take one of the biologic (targeted immune modulators) medications such as infliximab, adalimumab (Humira), golimumab (Simponi), vedolizumab (Entyvio), ustekinumab (Stelara) or tofacitinib (Xeljanz), please continue with this

Exceptions

  • If you are unwell (a high temperature (above 38°C), a new persistent cough and/or a shortness of breath) then please pause the immune suppressing tablets (azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, thalidomide) and tell us by leaving a message via the IBD helpline
  • If you also have a respiratory condition or other chronic disease such as severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, and are aged over 65, please contact the IBD helpline for individualised advice
  • If you take one of the biologic medications such as infliximab, adalimumab (Humira), golimumab (Simponi), vedolizumab (Entyvio), ustekinumab (Stelara) or tofacitinib (Xeljanz), and you have a fever, new persistent cough or shortness of breath, please defer the dose and inform the IBD team via the IBD helpline

IBD helpline

Tel: 0121 371 5905
Email: IBDhelpline@uhb.nhs.uk

How can I reduce the risk of catching COVID-19?

Please follow the guidelines issued by the NHS to reduce the risk.

Additionally, if you are on immunosuppressant or biologics, please avoid gatherings of over 10 people.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of COVID-19?

In addition to the advice around your medication, above, if you develop symptoms, please follow the NHS guidance.

What if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will need to stop your immune system modulating and biologic medication. Please inform us via the IBD helpline, and follow advice and treatment from the infection team.

IBD helpline

Tel: 0121 371 5905
Email: IBDhelpline@uhb.nhs.uk