Managing IBD in the COVID-19 era

Nicholas Scalzo, Ryan C. Ungaro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Over the last 2 years the lives of millions have changed because of the emergence of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Patients living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) represent a sizable population with their own sets of challenges to providers in the wake of so much uncertainty. The Centers for Disease Control considers immunocompromised individuals at higher risk of infection and complications from COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, the specific risks for IBD patients were unclear as guidance was based on expert opinion regarding the management of IBD during a COVID-19 era. Fortunately, after considerable work in the field, the overwhelming evidence suggests that IBD patients as a whole do not appear to be at increased risk for more severe disease from COVID-19. Certain risk factors such as age, steroids, comorbidities, combination immunomodulatory therapy, and IBD disease activity have been associated with worse outcomes. Most IBD medications are low risk, with the exception of immunomodulator monotherapy and combination therapy with thiopurine and anti-TNF. Vaccination remains safe and effective for all IBD patients, although additional booster doses may be necessary, particularly in patients taking anti-TNF agents.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • COVID-19
  • anti-tumor necrosis factor
  • hospitalization
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • systemic corticosteroids
  • vaccination


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