The health experts have warned that the resistance to commonly-used antibiotic clarithromycin is rising among Indian patients at a fast pace. The Additional Director, Department of Interventional Cardiology at Jaypee Hospital in Noida Dr Suni Sofat says that every medicine has its mechanism to treat diseases. There are multiple factors for the rise of resistance to clarithromycin among Indians. “Self-medication is the main reason,” he adds.
“In India, a huge population prefers to consume over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without even consulting a doctor. In the long run, this may make them resistant to most of the antibiotics including clarithromycin,” Sofat added.
The World Health Organisation has declared antibiotic resistance as one of the biggest threats to global health. “In India, the consumption of antibiotics without consulting a qualified physician is quite common which is leading to its resistance. There is an increase in resistance to antibiotics including clarithromycin which is undoubtedly a worrisome situation in the country,” said Dr Gaurav Jain, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi.
However, according to Dr Deepak Verma of Internal Medicine at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad, most of the cases that we see in India are connected to gram-negative bacteria such as e.coli that causes urinary tract infection (UTI). The main causes of antibiotic resistance in India are its rampant misuse where people indulge in self-doctoring as well as taking medicines prescribed by unregistered medical practitioners, he adds.
Verma says that the Indians primarily use antibiotics symptomatically which is not a correct method for all ailments — without blood and urine culture. Antibiotics can force the pathogen to develop resistance. He also stressed that since the clinical culture in India is different from that of the western countries, the lack of awareness of the right process to prescribe antibiotics increase the chances of people using antibiotics without questioning.
Clarithromycin is used to treat bacterial infections. It is also used in combination with anti-ulcer medicines to treat certain types of stomach ulcers.

Source: ET Healthworld, News18.

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