Overprescription of antibiotics is a major cause for the rise in the incidence of antibiotic-resistance, say medical experts. With the focus during antibiotics awareness week this year being on antibiotics resistance, doctors discuss how antibiotic resistance needs to be reversed and also the consequences of over-prescription of such drugs.
“We are seeing an increase in the incidence of antibiotic resistance among the public due to the overuse of antibiotics. The common reasons behind the overuse of antibiotics is because of their inappropriate prescription. Though antibiotics are targeted on reducing bacterial infections, they are very readily given for non-bacterial infections and viral infections also,” said Dr Benny Benjamin, consultant paediatrician at Fortis Malar Hospital.
Doctor said that antibiotics need to be treated as a precious resource that should be used only when needed, so that they work when they are actually needed. Over prescription of antibiotics can make the population vulnerable to already treatable conditions, they further said.
The adverse effects of antibiotics not only cause prolonging of the stay of the patient in the hospital but also leads to an increase in healthcare costs. “There can be instances of failed effective treatment, with increased risk for death, especially in children, the elderly, cancer patients and immunosuppressed patients and may result in a major pandemic,” said Dr Vanmathy V, senior consultant anaesthesiologist and intensivist at GEM hospital. “Avoiding the overuse of antibiotics for common cold and other viral infections can help prevent antibiotic resistance. Immunisation will reduce the risk of common infections, while using the antibiotics only on prescription and completing the course of antibiotics properly can reverse antibiotic resistance,” added Dr Vanmathy.