If you’re taking a type of medication known as tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, also called anti-TNF or TNFis, you may be wondering how these drugs could impact your chances of contracting COVID-19, or having more severe complications from it. After all, the common cold or other upper respiratory tract infections can be more common in people taking anti-TNF inhibitors.
On the other hand, some rheumatologists are pointing out that TNF biologics may actually be protective against COVID-19 inflammation — and they are calling for more clinical trials to study these drugs as a potential COVID treatment.
No wonder there is confusion and anxiety among the people who take these medications to manage conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease.
While more research is needed to fully understand the impact of these medications on COVID-19, at least there is some preliminary data from the first few months of the pandemic, which is helping doctors and researchers make decisions help keep you healthy and safe.
We talked with top rheumatologist to help quell your fears and answer your questions. Read on to learn about how anti-TNF biologics work in the body, what the latest coronavirus research says, and how to best manage your inflammatory condition and minimize your risk of COVID-19.