COVID-19 rapid guideline: dermatological conditions treated with drugs affecting the immune response
GPs should be aware that patients having immunosuppressant treatments may have atypical presentations of COVID-19, according to NICE’s rapid guideline on rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders.
The guidance highlights the examples of patients taking prednisolone who may not develop a fever, and those taking interleukin-6 inhibitors may not develop a rise in C-reactive protein.
NICE recommends that patients should contact their rheumatology team about any issues related to their medicines, or if their condition worsens. They should also be advised to follow advice about social distancing and shielding if they fall into this group.
NICE said future guidelines that will form part of the rapid COVID-19 recommendations were likely to cover COPD, cystic fibrosis and people receiving immunotherapy.
The purpose of this guideline is to maximise the safety of children and adults who have dermatological conditions treated with drugs affecting the immune response during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aims to protect staff from infection and enable services to make the best use of NHS resources.
It covers 6 areas:
- 1 Communicating with patients and minimising risk
- 2 Supplying medicines
- 3 Patients not known to have COVID-19
- 4 Patients known or suspected to have COVID-19
- 5 Modifications to usual care
- 6 Healthcare workers