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Rady Children's Specialists

COVID-19 and Pediatric IBD Questions and Resources

How can I protect myself and/or my child from severe Covid-19 disease?

Vaccination is the best protection against severe Covid-19 disease.

NOTE: Covid-19 is an evolving virus. It is important to keep up with vaccine boosters to remain protected against the latest Covid-19 viruses in your community.

Who is at high risk for severe Covid-19 disease?

Anyone who is immunocompromised is at high risk for severe Covid-19 disease. 

This includes anyone taking the following medications:

  • Adalimumab/Humira
  • Infliximab/Remicade/Inflectra
  • Mercaptopurine/Azathioprine
  • Methotrexate
  • Prednisone
  • Rizankizumab/Skyrizi
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tofacitinib/Xeljanz
  • Upadacitinib/Rinvoq
  • Ustekinumab/Stelara
  • Vedolizumab/Entyvio

How is coronavirus transmitted?

Coronaviruses spread via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs and can infect people in close contact (within 6 feet).

Touching contaminated surfaces before touching your eyes/nose/mouth might also lead to infection. There has been concern that COVID-19 may be in feces, so handwashing is vital.

Should I stop my IBD medications when I have tested positive for COVID-19?

IBD occurs because of an overly active immune system, and most medications used to treat IBD suppress the immune system. 

STAY ON YOUR IBD MEDICATIONS.  If you stop medications, this could lead to an IBD flare and associated abdominal pain and diarrhea, which may require a clinic or hospital visit to treat your IBD.

In fact, it can be dangerous to stop some medications (like prednisone) because it can lead to a rapid drop in blood pressure.

Also, some medications like steroids and anti-TNF agents (Remicade/Inflectra) can be protective against severe Covid-19 infection.


Should I postpone or reschedule my injection or infusion?

Call the Rady IBD Center for advice on potential postponement or rescheduling of your injection or infusion.  It is always wise to talk to your healthcare team.  DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS ON YOUR OWN.

What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19?

Call the Rady IBD Center immediately for advice on treatment.  Treatment is available for persons 12y and older if given within 5 days of infection.

For children younger than 12y, treatment may be available based on symptoms.  It is best to call the Rady IBD Center for advice.

For symptoms of Covid-19, as always, we do not recommend use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, naproxen, Aleve, etc.) as these medications may trigger an IBD flare. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is preferred for fever and pain control.

If you are symptomatic and planning to seek medical care, then you should contact your pediatrician or gastroenterologist for guidance before coming to the clinic, urgent care, or the emergency room.

I got a prescription for Paxlovid from my pediatrician – do I need to talk to the IBD Center?

Contact the IBD Center BEFORE starting Paxlovid.  Some IBD medications have interactions with Paxlovid.  It is good to check in with us prior to starting Paxlovid.

Keep safe and remember we are here for you. 

For any questions, call the Rady IBD Center at 858 966 4003.

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Rady Children’s Hospital