Prevention before antibiotic use should be practiced; say no to irrational use

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Many bacteria have already developed resistance to wonder drugs

New Delhi, 29 March 2019: The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections is seen more likely in populations with a high prevalence of AIDS-immunocompromised people, reveals new research. People with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to opportunistic bacterial infections and are therefore frequently prescribed antibiotics to prevent or treat these infections. The study’s findings will help public health policymakers to combat the rising risk of drug-resistant infections in AIDS-affected communities.

A report published by the New Delhi-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in November 2017 says that over 70% of Acinetobacterbaumannii bacteria and 50% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics like third generation cephalosporin. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are those that are effective against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Many bacteria have developed resistance to the so-called ‘wonder drugs’ reducing their effectiveness. The emergence of resistance to antibiotics was perhaps a development ‘waiting to happen’ given their indiscriminate use since they were first discovered. With no new antibiotics in the pipeline, a ‘pre-antibiotic era’ looms ahead, where many common infections might no longer have a cure and, once again, become a threat to human life. When prescribed for conditions that may not require antibiotic treatment at all, they can cause various side effects including disturbance to attention span, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment, and delirium. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics have made once easily treatable bacterial infections harder and often impossible to cure. This phenomenon is on the rise due to their inappropriate use in human medicine.”

Schedule H1 drugs, along with Schedule H and Schedule X drugs, are restricted drugs and cannot be sold to just anybody OTC. A valid prescription from a doctor of modern system of medicine is required before they can be dispensed to the patients.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Improving and adhering to diagnostic tests for various diseases will help curb the inappropriate use of antibiotics, which compromises measures to control antimicrobial resistance. The imminent need of the hour is to address this issue.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Practice rational use of drugs antibiotics
  • Use when needed and according to guidelines
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics without appropriate diagnosis
  • Prevent infections with the use of vaccination and by improving basic hygiene including hand hygiene and infection control techniques and sanitation in health care settings as well as in the community

·     Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.