Doctors warn against irrational use of antibiotics

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LAHORE: The irrational and unjustifiable use of antibiotics by doctors as well as by patients themselves without consulting their doctors is limiting options for fighting deadly bacteria, health experts warned on Sunday, saying the sale of antibiotics Over-the-counter antibiotics, over-prescription, and uncontrolled use of antibiotics lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a condition in which antibiotics do not work against most germs.

They also criticized the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for registering hundreds of antibiotics and making them freely available without prescription, saying that hundreds of pharmaceutical companies own hundreds of brands of antibiotics, including excessive use has become a serious public health problem in Pakistan. . “The easy availability of antibiotics is one of the biggest problems in Pakistan where people in pharmacies sell these drugs like candy. Patients take these drugs for a day and two and when the symptoms of the disease are gone, they stop taking these antibiotics, making the bacteria resistant to these drugs,” said Professor Jamal Raza, senior pediatrician, speaking on the margins of the 17th Asia. Pacific Congress of Pediatrics which concluded here on Sunday.

Hundreds of experts from various parts of Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Africa as well as the United States, Australia and Canada as well as different cities across the country attended the competition internationally and presented their research on different aspects of newborn, child and adolescent health. .

Calling antibiotics the most important invention in human history that has saved millions and millions of lives, health experts at the international competition have recommended an immediate ban on the sale of over-the-counter antibiotics , as this led to the most serious problem of antimicrobial resistance. in XDR (Extensively Drug Resistant) typhoid, which is resistant to most third-generation antibiotics and has become a serious concern for public health experts.

Professor Jamal Raza argued that excessive registration of antibiotics by regulatory authorities was another reason for the misuse of antibiotics in Pakistan, saying that hundreds of brands of the drugs were available and to sell them, staff sales of pharmaceutical companies uses all kinds. tactics to achieve their sales goals.

“There is an urgent need to promote a rational and justifiable use of antibiotics so that these drugs can be used for longer. Unfortunately, even the latest antibiotics are proving ineffective against the bacteria due to their irrational and excessive use”, a- he lamented. .

Another eminent pediatrician from the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Dr. Asad Ali, said that the excessive and irrational use of antibiotics not only leads to antimicrobial resistance in humans, but that it is was an especially dangerous practice in children, as these drugs also kill their healthy or beneficial bacteria. leading to serious health problems for children.

“There are 10 times more bacteria in the human body than its own cells and antibiotics are like a bomb, killing all types of bacteria present in the human body. The irrational use of antibiotics in children deprives them of healthy flora, which leads to serious consequences for their health,” added Dr. Asad Ali. He argued that “bacteria have lived with human beings for over two billion years” as humans have invented antibiotics in recent years so bacteria would know how to make them resistant to these drugs to continue surviving in the world. human body and added that there is a need to limit the use of these life-saving drugs before they become completely ineffective. In response to a question, Dr Ali said that most doctors and consultant pediatricians use antibiotics in good faith to save children’s lives, adding that in cases of meningitis and other life-threatening conditions, treating physicians don’t want to take risks and use anything. at their disposal to save children’s lives.

Several other experts at the international conference urged authorities to take action to prevent the over-the-counter availability of prescription drugs, especially antibiotics, while urging their colleagues, including GPs, not to prescribe these drugs as long as they are not extremely important.

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