We have received many questions about what to do with rheumatologic drugs in our patients with rheumatic diseases. As coronavirus is a novel pathogen, much is unknown about how this virus acts in many different populations. The following is meant to be general guidance, not specific medical advice for you individually. Please call our office to schedule a televisit with Dr. Janssen if you have questions beyond what is noted below or need specific health advice for yourself.
If you have NOT been exposed to someone known or suspected to have COVID 19 AND are NOT having symptoms, the following can be said in general:
We currently recommend that you continue your oral medications such as hydroxychloroquine, leflunomide, methotrexate, sulfasalazine, azathioprine, and low dose prednisone.
For most patients, biologics should also be continued (again, for people with no exposures and no symptoms). The reasoning behind this is that if your condition flares up and requires steroids to control it, the steroids may pose a higher risk of infection than the stable dose of biologic agent. Biologics include IV infusions, injections, and oral agents such as Xeljanz, Rinvoq, and Olumiant.
-If you believe your work setting poses an additional risk for you, we suggest that you work with your employer to modify your job duties or identify alternative work for you to do in this pandemic. We can provide a letter at your request noting that we are treating you for a rheumatic disease and that your condition and your medication can suppress your immune system.