AGA Releases Official Guidance for Patients with IBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Management of Patients with IBD during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) published new COVID-19 guidance for gastroenterologists treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): AGA Clinical Practice Update on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expert Commentary.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is a global health emergency, patients with IBD have particular concerns for their risk for infection and management of their medical therapies. This clinical practice update incorporates the emerging understanding of COVID-19 and summarizes available guidance for patients with IBD and the providers who take care of them.

Management of IBD During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recommendations for gastroenterologists & their patients who have IBD:

1. During this pandemic, patients with IBD should continue IBD therapies including scheduled infusions.

2. Having IBD does not appear to increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or the development of COVID-19.

3. Instructions for patients with IBD who develop COVID-19 (fever, respiratory symptoms, digestive symptoms, etc.):

       a. Stop thiopurines, methotrexate, tofacitinib.

       b. Stop biological therapies (including anti-TNF, ustekinumab, vedolizumab).

       c. Can restart therapies after complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms. Patients        should always speak with their health care team before stopping any medication.

4. Doctors should submit cases of IBD and confirmed COVID-19 to the SECURE-IBD registry at COVIDIBD.org.

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