Arthritis & COVID-19: Are arthritis sufferers at an increased risk, should medicines be stopped, what specific precautions should be taken?

We are all in difficult time. The numbers affected by COVID-19 are increasing exponentially every other day & we are hearing scary stories from across the globe.

If you suffer from arthritis; I am sure you would have many queries in your mind. Let us try & sort them out today.

1) Arthritis medications work by suppressing the immunity. Does that mean arthritis warriors on prednisolone/ DMARDs/ biologics are at an increased risk?

2) Since medications increase the risk; should the medicines be stopped to mitigate the risk?

3) What would happen if the medicines are stopped? What if the arthritis flares up?

4) Can we calculate the risk based on the medicines & precautions to be taken based on the risk profile?

We have a few videos to answer these questions:

 

 

 

Many of you may have experienced a shortage of hydroxychloroquine (HCQS, Plaquenil) as well. Do you know what you can do if you are not able to procure it?

 

All in all, there is no reason to panic.

  1. Understand your risk status as per the flow chart in the video
  2. Understand precaution (Standard social distancing, strict social distancing, shielding) & follow them. See what is appropriate for you based on your risk status.
  3. Speak to your rheumatologist. Do not stop any medication on your own.

 

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