Many people are understandably concerned about the impact of corona virus and what it might mean for their health if they have a rheumatological condition. I have received some questions about what people on DMARDs (such as Methotrexate, Arava or Sulfasalazine) or biological drugs should do in the face of the threat of the virus.
Its important in this time (and all times) that we take care of ourselves in all ways and knowing what to do with our medications is an important part of self-care.
What to do about your medications:
Continue taking your medications if you feel well.
There is no evidence that you need to stop taking your medications if you are well
If you develop symptoms, stop your DMARDS and/or Biologicals and seek medical advice.
Do not restart these medications until you receive medical approval when you are well
If you are on DMARDS and/or biologicals, and come into contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive, seek medical advice on delaying your next dose of these medications
Also self-isolate for 14 days as is currently recommended
Follow all general safety measures recommended for all of us:
Regular use of hand sanitiser
Avoid crowds and gatherings where possible
Work from home where possible
Cover your coughs and sneezes if you have any (recommended into an elbow or a tissue which is disposed of immediately)
Do your best not to touch your face
Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms such as:
Self-isolate as recommended if it is recommended by your GP.
We have learned that the disease can be spread before we develop symptoms of the disease so it’s important that if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive that you follow any self isolation recommendations.
This takes care of others as well who may be vulnerable to developing a serious infection.
Please note that in accordance with NSW Department of Health guidelines there is no evidence that wearing a face mask will decrease your chance of getting the virus. Current understanding is that the wearing of masks is for people who are infected and have symptoms to stop the spread of the disease from them, and for health professionals dealing with people who are suspected of having the virus.
How else can you take care of yourself:
It's really important that we take care of ourselves in all ways. This means, getting the annual flu vaccination, eating healthy, sleeping well, exercising, enjoying yourself (laughing boosts the immune system), and getting support with any stress and anxiety.
There are many circumstances beyond our control with this virus, but what we can do is deeply care for ourselves, and those around us.
It is business as usual for me at the moment and I am available for consultations and will be available for telehealth consultations where possible if in person visits are not possible.
Please let us know if you need an appointment and are unable to attend due to self-isolation measures. We will support all urgent requests with telehealth.
We ask that you do not attend clinic if you have any symptoms suggestive of the virus in order to protect the health and well-being of others attending the clinic who may be vulnerable to developing an infection with the virus.
Please know that if at any stage I’m unable to attend clinic due to needed self-isolation, I will be providing telehealth support to my patients from home.
If you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in touch.
My best wishes for you all,
Here is a link for more information on the corona virus if you are interested