ICMR advises avoiding the tendency to consume antibiotics when there is a mild fever. The Indian Council of Medical Research’s message to doctors issuing routine guidelines is not to give antibiotics for mild fever and viral bronchitis. When antibiotics are to be given, there are still time limits. ICMR has fixed that for how many days the doctors will give antibiotics in any case. Besides, they have asked to limit the practice of giving antibiotics based on guesswork for seriously ill patients.
Medicines used to prevent bacterial infections are called antibiotics. A study published in the journal Lancet last September showed that the prevalence of antibiotic consumption in India is very high. In the epidemic phase, it has been more upward. The study said, due to unregulated antibiotic use, many antibiotics are no longer working in the body of Indians. This is the main urge behind the antibiotic guidelines that ICMR has published this time.
They said, due to the frequent use of antibiotics, the presence of pathogens that cause antibiotic-resistant diseases is increasing in many cases. Antibiotics no longer work in times of crisis.
Advise from ICMR
Looking for a way out of this danger, the ICMR now advises doctors not to prescribe antibiotics for a feverish cough. Antibiotics are best given after clinical examination and diagnosis. ICMR aims to reduce the practice of prescribing antibiotics ‘blindly’ based on fever, white blood cell count, procalcitonin levels etc. If you want to write privately, you have to fix the period of the medicine. According to the guidelines, antibiotics can be given for five days for skin and soft tissue infections.
The ICMR has also called for reducing the tendency to prescribe antibiotics based on prior experience and guesswork (empiric therapy) for critically ill patients. Empiric therapy is generally recommended for sepsis, septic shock, pneumonia, ventilator-associated pneumonia, etc. According to the ICMR, a decision should be made only after careful consideration of whether empiric therapy will work. How long the therapy will last, and how to reduce the dose of the drug, needs a specific plan.
ICMR has warned that if we are not careful now, a big danger is waiting ahead. Carbapenem antibiotics given in ICU to prevent pneumonia, and septicaemia may not be effective in Indians in near future, revealed their study in 2021. 87.5 per cent of Indian patients participating in the survey 2021 have developed antibiotic-resistant pathogens in their bodies. The reason for this is uncontrolled antibiotic consumption. Impenem antibiotics against E-coli may become ineffective.
According to the study, the level of resistance against this drug in India increased from 14 per cent to 36 per cent between 2016 and 2012. However, according to a part of the medical community, it is not enough to warn doctors to reduce the consumption of antibiotics. Many people in the country are addicted to antibiotics by showing old prescriptions and asking at drug stores. Raising public awareness is the only way to get the desired results.