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Rheumatoid Arthritis And Covid 19

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Does Rheumatoid Arthritis worsen after COVID infection? I am suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, am I prone to COVID? I am suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, can I take the COVID vaccine? I know all these questions are troubling you if you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Here is the answer to all your questions. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, in which your immunity goes down, so there are chances of getting infected by COVID. But, if you are regular with your rheumatoid arthritis medicine and it is under control, there are fewer chances you will get COVID.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is characterized by joint pain, swelling, and morning stiffness, and in severe cases leads to deformities of joints. 

Rheumatoid arthritis is treated with Immunosuppressant, analgesic, NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs), and biologics. Some rheumatologist treat it with steroids too (steroids have many side effects)

Hydroxychloroquine and Tociluzimab which are used for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis are also used for COVID treatment.

If you are on steroids or on any anti-inflammatory drugs, it is difficult to find the main symptom of COVID that is fever, as these drugs suppress fever.

So how will you get to know that you have COVID?

  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Cough
  • Throat irritation
  • Weakness
  • Shortening of breath

What precautions do you have to take to prevent yourself from COVID?

  • Use a mask once you go out from home or if any visitors come to your home.
  • Frequent use of alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Wash your hand with soap and water.
  • Avoid crowded places.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Don’t stop your Rheumatoid Arthritis medicine, until your Rheumatologist advice
  • Consult your Rheumatologist before taking any other medicine.
  • If you observe any of the above symptoms please consult your Rheumatologist.

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis patients take the COVID vaccine?

Yes, you can take the COVID vaccine. Some medicines like Methotrexate, Tofacitinib, Adalimumab need to stop for a few days after taking the vaccination. So, consult your Rheumatologist before taking the COVID vaccine.

Take home message is – 

Prevention is always better than cure, keep this in mind and try to protect yourself and your family.

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