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Humira - coming off after surgery and concerns about new corona virus.

Tue, March 10, 2020 4:17 PM

Hi, does anyone know to what extent Humira affects the immune system, I'm slightly concerned about this new corona virus (in the event it does start spreading) as I'm currently taking a weekly dose of Humira.

I'm quite susceptible to colds/flu and have been battling with sinusitis for a few weeks now, unfrotunately this is alos now a sore throat/cough. This started weeks ago after resuming Humira following surgery (not travel realted or anything like that). It does however make me slightly concerned that if there is some widespread pandemic then us IBD patients are in a potentially high risk group?

As mentioned above I've recently had an operation on my small bowel (removal of a section of stricturing), fortunately didn't require a bag. Given that they've removed the entire diseased section (about 60 cm of small bowel) I'm hoping they might be planning to take me off humira in the near future. I was wondering if any others have had surgery then come off biologics succesfully - how long did it take post operation befroe your consutant decided to take you off the medication?

I'm obviously going to ask the consultant myself about some of these things at my next appointment in May, though would be useful to hear the experience of others etc.. and/or any comments on humira and how it affects immunity with regards to flu (potentially corona virus etc..).

FPO David Thomson
Joined Mar 10, 2020

Wed, March 11, 2020 5:42 PM

Reply posted for valjf.

As far as I'm aware being on humira does mean it can take a bit longer to shake off a cold or flu. I have a flu jab each year since being on humira.

FPO David Thomson
Joined Mar 10, 2020

Wed, March 11, 2020 5:40 PM

Reply posted for administrator.

Thank you very much for your reply the IBD patient guidance is useful. I'll keep an eye on this page going forwards. :)

FPO David Thomson
Joined Mar 10, 2020

Wed, March 11, 2020 3:36 PM

Reply posted for David Thomson.

We understand that there’s a lot of information in the news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you may be concerned. The Foundation is here to help you make sense of the information and take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC).
What special considerations do people with IBD need to keep in mind?
People with IBD who are taking medications that suppress their immune system (such as certain biologic/biosimilar medications, immunomodulators, and steroids) are generally at increased risk for infection. However, there are preventive actions you can take to protect yourself from exposure to the virus and prevent the spread of the disease. The CDC recommends the following ways to limit your risk of infection:

  • Avoid having close contact with people who are sick.
  • Do not touch your nose, eyes, and mouth if you have not washed your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. To ensure you wash for the appropriate amount of time, sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or another short song. 
  • If soap and water are not available to you, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Check the label to confirm the amount of alcohol.
To learn more visit:
The Foundation has compiled specific IBD recommendations from the CDC, World Health Organization and other credible sources.  Please review the information links below for all IBD patients along with specific information for pediatric caregivers and patients.  
IBD Patient Guidance
Guidance for Pediatric Caregivers and Patients
The Foundation will update this information as the CDC and public health departments provide additional information and guidance. You can find additional information on COVID-19 on the CDC's and the World Health Organization's websites.
All information is reviewed by the Foundation's National Scientific Advisory Committee
Last updated March 11, 2020

FPO administrator
Joined Oct 12, 2017

Wed, March 11, 2020 6:24 AM

Reply posted for David Thomson.

I am wondering this myself,   I have been on Humira for about 4 months and concerned about my immune system.  If I am now more seceptible of catching the flu 

FPO valjf
Joined Mar 11, 2020

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