Antibiotics being misused in India after the covid-19 outbreak
Last year in India, there was a hike in the sale of antibiotics in order to treat mild or moderate viral diseases. From June to September 2020, there was the circulation of 216.4 million doses of medicines and 38 million doses of Azithromycin according to the reports of Washington University in the United States.
They are effective only against bacterial infections and not viral infections and therefore inappropriate usage of drugs led to its misuse, which can, in turn, increase the risk for drug-resistant infections in patients. The condition can become serious and deadly, as the overuse of antibiotics can diminish the ability it being effective against minor injuries and common infections.
According to the study published in the journal PLOS medicine conducted in collaboration with McGill University in Canada, and data from IQVIA, a health information technology company; it is found that around 16.29 billion doses of antibiotics were sold in the year 2020, in India.
The hike in the sales of Azithromycin was essentially to treat covid-19, which is a drug for treating typhoid and non-typhoidal salmonella, and traveller’s diarrhoea. Its sale increased from 4 % to 5.9% in the year 2020 along with two other prescribed medicines for respiratory infection namely doxycycline and faropenem. It was expected that the use of antibiotics would go down but it increased along with the rise of covid-19 cases.