Most IBD Specialists Support Continuing IBD Meds When Traveling to Areas With TB

Most IBD Specialists Support Continuing IBD Meds When Traveling to Areas With TB
About two-thirds of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) specialists worldwide support continuing IBD medications when traveling to tuberculosis (TB)-endemic areas, while about half offer pre-travel advice. The data also show that more awareness of vaccination guidelines is needed. The real-world study with that information, “A Global Survey of Gastroenterologists’ Travel Advice to Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease on Immunosuppressive Agents and Management of Those Visiting Tuberculosis-Endemic Areas,” was published in the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis. Patients with IBD who take immunosuppressants are exposed to infections, including those that are vaccine-preventable, in their travels. Also, their risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE)  a blood clot that starts in a vein — increases with long-distance travel. As such, they would benefit from pre-travel advice on preventive measures and education, adequate medical insurance, and a plan for emergency self-treatment. Using immunosuppressants in combination with treatment targeting tumor necrosis factor — a key molecule in inflammatory response — elevates the risk of TB reactivation. However, the management of IBD patients on immunosuppressants when traveling to TB-endemic countries still requires a standardized approach. The multi-national team from Australia, China, the U.K. and Singapore intended to determine the proportion of gastroenterologists providing travel-related recommendations to IBD patients, and which topics are being covered. Also, the investigators aimed to analyze how physicians manage IBD patients on biological therapy and visiting TB-endemic areas. They employed a survey with 57 questions and divided into demographic information – medical position, country, years in
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