Popping In Antibiotics? IMA Cautions Against Misuse Of  Drug...

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Popping In Antibiotics? IMA Cautions Against Misuse Of  Drug Combinations

| Updated: March 14, 2023 10:26

Over-medication and self-medication are emerging two unwarranted challenges faced by most medical practitioners. Doctors report a worsening of matters in light of rising influenza and Covid cases. Not only are patients showing a definite resistance to first-line antibiotics, some doctors have also shared case histories of secondary complications because of unsupervised drug combinations. 

In view of the study, Indian Medical Association (IMA) has come out with an advisory for doctors as well as the general public, cautioning against the use of antibiotics for symptomatic treatment.

The advisory highlights that medicines like azithromycin and amoxicillin are given without any pre-defined emphasis on dose and frequency. Moreover, people stop taking medicine without completing a prescribed course and this leads to antibiotic resistance. 

Agreeing to the misuse of antibiotics by doctors and the general public, Dr Pragnesh Joshi, chairman, standing committee, IMA Primary Health Care, said: “About 70% of cases are viral, for which antibiotics are not required. Over time, the body develops resistance to antibiotics and when there is a genuine need, the drug will not work. Also, the easy availability of such antibiotics as over-the- counter medicines at chemist shops makes it worse.”

According to the IMA, any viral infection usually lasts about five to seven days. The fever usually goes away at the end of three days but a lingering cough or body ache can persist up to three weeks. It is common to contract viral infections during weather changes in October and in February. 

Adding further, Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) president, Dr Bharat Gadhavi explained that while bigger establishments have a check in place, it is the  smaller dispensaries and nursing homes where administering antibiotics, something as an intra-venous, is undertaken rampantly. “This needs to be dealt with strictly,” he opined.

In its list of most misused antibiotics, the IMA notes: Amoxicillin, Norfloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Ofloxacin, Levofloxacin. “Usually prescribed for diarrhoea and UTIs, people readily take these from previous instances. We also noticed that Azithromycin and Ivermectin were widely used during the pandemic and this has led to a widespread resistance,” added Dr Joshi. 

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