IMA to ask doctors not to over-prescribe antibiotics

“Self-medication is now a growing trend”

April 14, 2014 02:34 am | Updated May 21, 2016 11:13 am IST - NEW DELHI

The culprits are many and most of us know them by heart. So be it Erythromycin, Azithromycin, Amoxicillin or Ciprofloxacin, self-medication with antibiotics is now a growing trend among the general population, warn doctors.

But this time around, the Indian Medical Association is not looking at targeting the general population to curb the ‘menace’. They are now proposing to aggressively target doctors to ensure that they don’t over-prescribe antibiotics.

On Sunday, the Association launched a nation-wide campaign which will include workshops, talks and a pledge ‘on rational use of antibiotics’ being put up on the Association’s website that can be downloaded by doctors.

IMA office-bearer Dr. Narendra Saini said: “The programme is aimed specifically at telling the doctors to not over-prescribe antibiotics, to ensure that patients aren’t encouraged to self-medicate and that patients are told about the dangers of popping antibiotics indiscriminately.”

“Despite governmental checks and prohibition of over-the-counter sale of antibiotics several chemists continue to sell them. In fact we have patients coming to doctors and asking them for specific antibiotics to be prescribed,” added Dr. Saini. Resistance Meanwhile, health experts claim that there continues to be indiscriminate use of antibiotics which is a source of concern especially with larger number of antibiotic-resistant cases being reported.

Stating that antibiotics get prescribed for ordinary fevers, self-limiting diarrhoea and other commonly occurring diseases, Dr. Bansal from the Delhi Medical Association said: “Medicines have to be prescribed after knowing the actual cause of the illness. The development and spread of antimicrobial resistance is due to their overuse, misuse and indiscriminate use by doctors, nurses and pharmacists and self-medication by patients.”

“There is also an urgent need to break the habit among the people of wanting to pop an antibiotic for any and every ailment. We also feel that the Centre’s move to ban over-the-counter sales of 92 drugs, including antibiotics, will go a long way to curbing this practice,” he added.

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