To be prescribed for indications of severe illness

The medical fraternity in the city was called upon to prescribe antibiotics judiciously and avert needless medical investigations, at the continuing medical education programme arranged by Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

WHO theme

The programme, keeping with this year's WHO theme to combat antibiotic resistance, advocated prudent use of antibiotics. Increasing drug resistance reported worldwide can be attributed to indiscreet use of antibiotics. As most infections are set off by viruses and often found to be self-limiting, high order antibiotics were unnecessary for common ailments, when proper diet, good rest and appropriate medication should suffice, said speakers.

Employing various real-life scenarios, S.Balasubramaniam senior consultant paediatrician, Kanchi Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital, Chennai, invited doctors to proffer suggestions for cough and cold in children. In the interactive session, he emphasised that antihistamines and dry syrups were sufficient to treat mild ailments, whereas antibiotics should be prescribed for indications of severe illness.

R.Palaniraman, consultant paediatrician, Tindivanam said prescribing high antibiotics in the initial days of a viral fever was unwarranted unless indications pointed otherwise, as most fevers would subside within five to seven days.

Reassuring patients

Instead of succumbing to pressure to prescribe high dosage of antibiotics for a quick cure, doctors should reassure patients.

Similarly, medical investigations like scans and blood tests were unnecessary at the preliminary stages when a simple clinical diagnosis would do. Speaking of diarrhoea, both speakers preferred probiotic, oral preparations and home based cooling agents over antibiotics. K.Muthukumar, President, State Chapter of Indian Academy of Paediatrics; Hemalatha S.David, President, Tiruchi Chapter,spoke. According to T. Nandakumar, Secretary, the IAP plans to partner with the IMA to spread the word on antibiotic regulation to general practitioners in tier two cities and rural pockets who double up as child specialists.