People taking immunosuppressive medication are not thought to be at increased risk of getting coronavirus (COVID-19). But you may be at increased risk of complications from the virus if you are infected.

Last updated: 9th April 2020

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you should call NHS 111 and follow national guidance.

Treatment

You should continue your immunosuppressive medication, including steroids, unless instructed otherwise by your clinician.

If you stop taking your medication, it could cause a flare up of your condition which could increase your risk of complications if you get coronavirus.

It is advisable to avoid using anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to treat symptoms of possible coronavirus. If you have been taking these types of medications to treat a long term condition, there is no need to stop them if you remain well.

Information:

In the event of any infection, you should contact the team responsible for your care so they can review your immunosuppressive medication.

Intraveneous (IV) treatment

Your immunosuppressive treatment will continue, even if you are practicing social distancing, including:

  • Infliximab
  • Vedolizumab
  • Ustekinumab
  • Tocilizimab
  • Abatacept

If you have viral symptoms, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, please contact NHS 111.

In cases where an infection of any kind is confirmed, it may be necessary to stop your immunosuppressive treatment for a time. In these circumstances please contact the Medical Day Unit on 0300 422 6641 to cancel your appointment.

We will be in contact with you to let you know when you can safely restart your medication.

Outpatient appointments

We may contact you to change your follow up appointment to phone or video appointments where it’s appropriate.

If you are well and feel that your appointment can be safely postponed, please call the booking office on 0300 422 4551 to cancel your appointment. We will rearrange a new date with you in due course.

If you need to attend your appointments in person, for example for a blood test or physical examination, you should attend your appointment unless we contact you.

Risk from coronavirus

Current national guidance considers patients on immunosuppressive therapy at increased risk from coronavirus, and steps should be taken to isolate as much as possible and work from home.

People who live with you should continue to practice good hand hygiene and safe social distancing.

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