Docs Raise Alarm Over Antibiotic Misuse

Hyderabad : Pointing to the growing incidence of antibiotic resistance, doctors have sounded an alert over the misuse of antibiotics. Citing incidents where antibiotics were not responding in younger people due to antibiotics abuse, doctors suggest that proper diagnosis by a medical practitioner and stopping use of over-the-counter drugs is essential.

In one such case, a 32-year-old youth from Mahabubagar who was undergoing treatment for kidney infection was found to have developed resistance to most antibiotics. “It was later found out that his was a typical case of antibiotics abuse and that he had been a regular visitor to quacks,” said a doctor from Gandhi Hospital. In yet another instance, a cancer patient was declared an end-stage patient after developing multi-drug resistance.

While antibiotics have to be used judiciously, it is often not the case in rural areas where untrained medical practitioners treat patients. “Antibiotics must be prescribed after confirming the sensitivity of the bacteria. While there are over 200 types of bacteria in the human body, it is often found that antibiotics are indiscriminately used for treating fever in many places without profiling the fever. Only in case of a bacterial infection, a low power antibiotic is to be given initially, which can be increased in power later on,” said Dr Sanjeev Singh Yadav, general secretary, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Telangana.

Overuse of antibiotics makes the bacteria resistant to the more potent antibiotic, which cannot be used when required.

“Though antibiotics are great healers, the problem is with misuse of these. It is important that people use them judiciously, and do not opt for unprescribed and over-the-counter drugs. A qualified doctor is the only one who can decide on the actual health condition and prescribe the right dosage of antibiotics or other medications. Instead of taking a radical approach, it is important that people with ill-health seek right medical advice before taking medicines. Excessive use of antibiotics could lead to resistance,” said Dr Bhavani E, consultant microbiologist, Continental Hospitals.

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