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Rheumatoid Arthritis & Coronovirus

(10 Posts)
Freshnewus Wed 08-Apr-20 08:52:13

I've put this in the health topic, because I think it's probably more relevant.

Are there any RA sufferers? What have your rheumatologists told you with regards to Covid19? My rheumatologist is very difficult to get hold of.

I haven't received a letter to say that I need to stay at home. I was taking ibuprofen, but have stopped this.

I am currently having quite a bad flair. I have been on and off oral steroids for about 8 weeks now (and had an IM steroid injection about 8 weeks ago, followed by the oral tabs)

I'm a little concerned that I will have a lower immune system, and unsure of how much I should be shielding?

I'm a key worker and work in a hospital in a clinical role (although this is only 1 day a week).

I know I should just ask to speak with my GP. But they are so busy, I don't want to bother them unnecessarily.

OP’s posts: |
Disressingtimes Wed 08-Apr-20 09:06:44

I know I should just ask to speak with my GP. But they are so busy, I don't want to bother them unnecessarily

In our surgery most patients have this thought, there are hardly any patients on the GPs telephone call lists because people aren’t phoning. Ring them. AFAIk if you take anti inflammatory medication for RA you should continue to do so.
Risk score based on you medication here:
www.nras.org.uk/data/files/COVID19_risk_scoring_guide.pdf

www.nras.org.uk/frequently-asked-questions

mynameiscalypso Wed 08-Apr-20 09:09:26

I have a different form of arthritis but spoke to my rheumatologist last week - his view was that arthritis in itself wasn't a particular risk factor but some of the treatments (eg biologics) have the potential to suppress your immune system so might make you higher risk. There is very useful guidance here:

https://www.rheumatology.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/Rheumatologyadvicee_coronavirusimmunosuppressedd_patients_220320.pdf?ver=2020-03-22-155745-717

The advice is also to keep taking any medication you were prescribed unless you have symptoms or become ill.

Bluebooby Wed 08-Apr-20 09:17:04

Op if you take ibuprofen regularly for another condition the advice is to continue taking it. I do. Not sure if RA puts you at added risk but you could call your GP surgery. Don't worry about wasting time. You may be able to find out from reception as in mine they said patients' files have been colour coded based on their level of risk.

IdblowJonSnow Wed 08-Apr-20 09:17:48

Call your gp and ask!
Agree they are fairly quiet. I had to call re my DD yesterday and received a callback very quickly (non-Corona issue) GPs manner was very unhurried.

Thighmageddon Wed 08-Apr-20 09:30:09

If you look on Versus Arthritis then they've got good info.

It's not the disease, it's the treatments and co-morbidities.

I'm considered high risk due to mtx and a biologic but I'm not required to shield.

It will depend on the dose of pred that you're on too.

Freshnewus Wed 08-Apr-20 09:34:08

Thank you all for your advice!
I'm not on methotrexate anymore, so I think I'm quite low risk. But it would be good to know for sure.

I will phone my GP then- good to know they aren't generally inundated like I thought!

OP’s posts: |
thereisfreedomwithin Wed 08-Apr-20 12:13:41

I phoned some sort of rheumatology helpline for my mum - the answermachine message said which drug treatments put you into the "shielding" category. She takes methatrexate which doesn't alone put her into theshielding category.

HappyHedgehog247 Wed 08-Apr-20 12:15:45

Hi. There is a good risk table on the NRAS website. It calculates a risk score for you based on the meds you are taking and any underlying issue.

lljkk Thu 09-Apr-20 21:42:47

Having RA might be only sure way to get chloroquin.

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