COVID Vaccine Medication Guide
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is at risk for catching coronavirus?
While anyone can catch coronavirus, older adults and people who have serious chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and lung diseases appear to be at highest risk for severe disease. While there are no official reports of increased cases of coronavirus in people on immunosuppressive medications, these medications may place you at higher risk of infection and serious complications.
Should patients who are taking steroids (prednisone), DMARDs, or biologic medications stop their therapy?
New recommendations from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) give guidelines for how to adjust your medications if you decide to get the COVID vaccine. Please see these instructions in the link below. As a reminder, please stop any immunosuppressive medication IF YOU ARE SICK with any infection (i.e. the flu, UTI, pneumonia, coronavirus, etc.).
If you receive the COVID vaccine, please refer to our medication guide to determine if you need to delay your medications before or after your vaccination.
What can patients with rheumatologic disease do to protect themselves against coronavirus?
The best protection currently is the COVID vaccine which has show great effectiveness against the development of severe disease. We recommend vaccination for most patients, unless they have had a history of severe (anaphylactic) reaction to other vaccines. We continue to encourage hand washing and sanitization of any potentially contaminated surfaces in your daily environment. If you are taking an immunosuppressive medication, please do your best to have increased caution, avoiding large crowds, sick people, and unnecessary travel (see CDC travel warning). It is helpful to stay well hydrated and consider supplements that have vitamin C or other immune boosters such as elderberry or echinacea. It is also universally understood that masks reduce the transmission of COVID so please be vigilant about wearing masks when around others not in your own household or who are not vaccinated.
Should I plan to keep my upcoming clinic appointment?
Our office is taking careful precautions to continue serving patients in clinic. If you are feeling healthy with no signs of infection or recent sick contacts, we encourage you to keep your appointment at Integrative Rheumatology. If you have signs of a contagious infection such as fever or cough, please call to cancel your appointment and make appropriate arrangements for evaluation with your primary care doctor. We also have telehealth options that will allow you to directly access our providers from home without coming into the office. Call our office to make changes to your appointment.