To delay or not to delay MS medications?
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
We as an MS community, have been communicating almost daily about the care of our patients during this stressful time. We are starting to get information from Iran as to the effect of MS treatments, including steroids, in patients who are Covid +.
With regards to delaying medications like Ocrevus, the current recommendation is:
Rituximab/Ocrelizumab(Ocrevus): no need to stop therapy; can discuss with MS healthcare provider re delaying infusion beyond 6 months, particularly if there has been a close contact or you are COVID positive or have symptoms.
I will be attending a seminar next week where we will be discussing these issues.
It is absolutely critical that we, of course, involve you, the patient, in our decision. The one major question I have as it relates to delaying, is how long the delay should be. The problem is that the pandemic issues will not go away quickly and I do get the ever-increasing sense that patients are being very aggressive in self-isolating themselves. If so, then now may be the best time to do the infusion rather than in a month or two when things are normalizing again. However again, there are no easy answers.
I am very thankful for the MS team I work with. Our office staff have done an amazing job supporting us all. One of the companies is organizing the seminar online. Tina with the Ocrevus team has been super in communicating. Shantha, our MS NP already called me this morning and the list could go on and on.
Pray that you all stay safe.