TODAY -

Alarm bells: Antibiotic abuse

Dr Satyavan Saurabh *



Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most urgent health problems. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics are major factors in antibiotic resistance. The general public, healthcare providers, and hospitals can all help ensure that medications are used correctly. This may reduce the growth of antibiotic resistance. Overuse of antibiotics especially when they are not the right treatment promotes antibiotic resistance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of antibiotic use in people is neither necessary nor appropriate. Healthcare professionals and especially pharmacists play/can play an important role in drug abuse and drug safety. Appropriate and effective patient education and counseling by pharmacists is key to achieving desired outcomes for treating patients, including clinical, economic, and humanitarian outcomes.

Antibiotics are important medicines. Many antibiotics can successfully treat infections caused by bacteria (bacterial infections). Antibiotics can stop the disease from spreading. Antibiotics can reduce serious disease complications. However, some antibiotics that used to be typical treatments for bacterial infections no longer work as well. And some drugs don't work at all against some bacteria.

When an antibiotic no longer works against certain strains of bacteria, those bacteria are said to be antibiotic-resistant. Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most urgent health problems. Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses doesn't work and it can create bacteria that are harder to kill.

Taking antibiotics too often or for the wrong reasons can cause bacteria to change so much that antibiotics no longer work against them. This is called bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance.

But if a person is using antibiotics repeatedly, then the bacteria develop immunity against that medicine. After this, it becomes very difficult to fix it. This is called anti-microbial resistance. In such a situation, treatment is not done properly but toxins start accumulating in the liver.

A recent survey by the National Centers for Disease Control found that more than half of the nearly 10,000 hospital patients surveyed for the study were given antibiotics to prevent rather than treat infections.

This is a worrying sign as India has one of the highest burdens of drug-resistant pathogens worldwide, leading to the high incidence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Overuse of antibiotics especially when they are not the right treatment promotes antibiotic resistance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one-third of antibiotic use in people is neither necessary nor appropriate.

Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. However, they do not treat infections caused by viruses (viral infections). For example, antibiotics are the right treatment for strep throat caused by bacteria.

But it is not the right treatment for most sore throats that are caused by viruses. India has taken a major step in reducing antimicrobial resistance, which is becoming a growing concern across the world, by implementing the National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (NAP-AMR). It is a key component of India's National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.

The strategy emphasizes the importance of educating healthcare workers, the general public as well as stakeholders in the veterinary and agricultural industries. This educational initiative is important in promoting responsible behavior and reducing the misuse of antibiotics.

The plan recognizes that antimicrobial resistance is not just a challenge to human health; It is also a result of antibiotic misuse in veterinary and environmental settings. Which includes ministries responsible for health, animal husbandry, agriculture, and the environment.

The National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance underlines the importance of robust data collection and surveillance. This includes closely monitoring the use of antibiotics in the agricultural, human health, and veterinary sectors. Every day, thousands of people are admitted to hospitals for treatment of infectious diseases that require antibiotic therapy.

Antibiotic misuse is a leading cause of antimicrobial resistance, adverse events, and treatment costs among hospitalized patients. Antibiotic safety must be ensured in hospital settings to promote effective and rational therapy.

There is growing evidence that measures to increase antibiotic prescribing may help patients. To help healthcare practitioners reduce inappropriate inpatient prescribing, it is necessary to determine how often inappropriate inpatient prescribing occurs in hospitals and how much less prescribing would benefit patients.

There should be a strong regulatory framework to monitor and enforce compliance with antibiotic prescription guidelines. It includes mechanisms to punish non-compliance and encourage compliance. Regular monitoring of antibiotic resistance patterns is important. The effectiveness of guidelines can be assessed by the ability to track changes in resistance patterns over time and take corrective action.

Restricting access to reserve antibiotics is important to reduce resistance. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics are major factors in antibiotic resistance. The general public, healthcare providers, and hospitals can all help ensure that medications are used correctly.

This may reduce the growth of antibiotic resistance. Healthcare professionals and especially pharmacists play/can play an important role in drug abuse and drug safety.

Appropriate and effective patient education and counseling by pharmacists is key to achieving desired outcomes for treating patients, including clinical, economic, and humanitarian outcomes. Medication abuse and misuse can be prevented/reduced by educating patients about medications when prescribing and dispensing them and how they can use them appropriately.

It is very important and necessary to increase awareness among the public, patients, and healthcare professionals about the complications of the misuse and abuse of medicines. It is very important to follow drug dispensing regulations and stop dispensing prescribed and controlled drugs to prevent misuse and abuse of drugs.


* Dr Satyavan Saurabh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a Poet, freelance journalist and columnist
and can be contacted at laloo(DOT)barwa(AT)yahoo(DOT)in
This article was webcasted on 23 January 2024 .



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