Use Of Antibiotics For Respiratory Illnesses In Rural India
Dr Rashmi Sharma MD,DMCH,
216-A, Last-Morh Gandhi- Nagar,
Jammu, Tawi. Pin: 180004.J&K (INDIA)
The increase in antibiotic resistance is one of the preventable threats being faced in the 20th century. Unnecessary antibiotic prescribing remains common not only in the developing countries, but also in the developed countries like USA and Britain. The present study was conducted to study the antibiotic prescribing pattern in paediatric patients with respiratory and ear infections in rural India.
Materials and Methods: The present prospective study was conducted in a rural health center (RHC) situated about 30 kilometers away from a tertiary care center. 2561 new (first encounter) prescriptions were studied.
Results: Out of the 2561 prescriptions, upper respiratory track infection (URTI), lower respiratory track infection (LRTI), asthma and acute otitis-media (AOM) were the diagnoses made in 29.28%, 5.46%, 5.85%, and 0.97% of the prescriptions, respectively. Cephalosporins were the most frequently prescribed antibiotics in all the age groups of patients. Azithromycin/ erythromycin/roxithromycin were the next most commonly prescribed antibiotics. All patients with URTI, LRTI, asthma and AOM, except 11.11% and 7.50% patients in the age groups of 6-10 years and 11-18 years respectively, received no antibiotic for URTI and 12% patients of AOM received no antibiotic.
Conclusion: Broad spectrum antibiotics are frequently used for viral respiratory illnesses which are generally self limiting, further adding to the threat of antibiotic resistance. There is a need to appoint clinical pharmacologists at various levels in a health setup to supervise and evaluate the prescriptions of doctors and to provide them feedback to improve their prescribing skills.