The New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology issued this statement:

Do not stop your medication; preventing disease flares is a priority.

Your medications aim to keep your disease under control. Stopping your medications increases the risk of having a flare of your IBD. Always talk to your doctor about your treatment plan if you have concerns or questions.

Here is a list of the most common medications used to treat IBD;

Mesalazine and other aminosalicylates (Asacol, Pentasa, Dipentum, Salazopyrin, Sulfasalazine). These are all safe and do not suppress the immune system.

Immunosuppressants (azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, cyclosporine, methotrexate and mycophenolate). These medications inhibit the body’s immune response, but stopping them puts you at risk for having a flare.

Biologics (Humira or adalimumab and Remicade or infliximab) are immune suppressing drugs. DO NOT stop taking these medications for the reasons above.

If your medication requires an infusion, do not skip these appointments. It’s important to stay on your medications and go to infusion appointments as scheduled. If you have concerns about visiting an infusion center: Talk to your doctors, and discuss your concerns. 

Of course, in addition to taking your medications, it is of critical importance to adhere to the instructions provided by the Ministry of Health.


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