The following advice is for the management of patients taking DMARDs for rheumatology related conditions.
General guidance on management of rheumatology patients during COVID-19 is available from the British Society for Rheumatology.
This page gives advice on drug monitoring in primary care during COVID-19 for hydroxychloroquine in stable patients (stable patients defined as those who have been on current treatment for >12 months and at a stable dose for >6 weeks)
Advice on other medicines is here
For hydroxychloroquine, usual monitoring recommendations are:
- annual eye assessment (ideally including optical coherence tomography) if continued for ≥5 years (see RCO advice)
- No routine laboratory monitoring is required for hydroxychloroquine
During the COVID-19 pandemic, recommendations are:
- Consider suspending annual eye assessment with ophthalmologist advice
For patients with symptoms of COVID-19, recommendations are:
- NICE and the BSR recommend to continue hydroxychloroquine in patients known or suspected to have COVID‑19
- refer patients to advice from Versus Arthritis for patient facing advice and guidance
This page was developed in conjunction with Kalveer Flora, Chair, Rheumatology Pharmacists UK (RPUK); Lead Pharmacist, Specialised Rheumatology CRG for NHS England. We are hugely grateful for her input.
This advice has been developed quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; if you spot anything that’s wrong report a concern to us.