New recommendations issued by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) can help physicians care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Science Daily reports that the IBD “clinical practice update incorporates the emerging understanding of COVID-19” with particular concerns related to infection risk and management of the chronic immune disorder, which can present with abdominal pain, diarrhea and weight loss.
As outlined in an AGA news release, physicians currently treating patients with IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, should:
- continue IBD therapies including scheduled infusions;
- recognize that the condition does not appear to increase the risk of contracting COVID-19;
- stop thiopurines, methotrexate, tofacitinib & biological therapies if fever, fatigue, cough or difficulty breathing develop (therapies can restart after complete resolution of these COVID-19 symptoms); and
- report cases of IBD and confirmed COVID-19 to the SECURE-IBD registry at COVIDIBD.org.
MLMIC encourages medical professionals to review AGA’s complete list of resources for further guidance on treating IBD patients during this public health emergency.
MLMIC continues to keep its policyholders informed of all COVID-19-related developments on the dedicated resource page on our website and via our 24/7 hotline. Our experts are available to help address the challenges that may arise as you continue to care for patients throughout the nationwide response to this pandemic.