Antibiotics play no role to cure contagious disease like Covid-19, people are preferring it due to self-mediation, says Dr Faisal Sultan.
The use of antibiotics, especially Azithromycin, is on the rise in Pakistan during the pandemic. During the last one year, some antibiotics and corticosteroids, including prednisone and dexamethasone, were increasingly used in the country.
According to the health experts, misuse of could lead to serious health issues, including diluting the antimicrobial resistance (AMR), leading to the emergence of lethal fungal infections like mucormycosis or black fungus.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Dr Faisal Sultan said when asked if there was any benefit or role of prescribing antibiotics, especially Azithromycin to COVID-19 patients, “There is widespread misuse of antibacterial medications (eg azithromycin) and others – with no role in treating essentially a viral infection.”
Dr Sultan, who is himself an infectious diseases expert, condemned that some specialists are even prescribing medicines that don’t have a scientific basis or a globally accepted guideline to support usage.
Meanwhile, Dr Faisal Mehmood, infectious disease expert and consultant at Aga Khan University Hospital, also made it clear that there was no role of azithromycin or any other antibiotic in the treatment of COVID-19 and warned that the use was causing more harm than any good.
“We have no idea why antibiotics are so widely being prescribed for COVID-19, but most probably lack of knowledge on how to use antibiotics could be one of the causes. Not just general physicians, but even consultants are prescribing antibiotics, especially azithromycin for the management of COVID-19,” he observed.
Patients are dying because unscrupulous or ill-informed practitioners are prescribing antibiotics irrationally. Now is the need that the government should come forward and take measures to prevent the use of antibiotics against viral infections and curb self-medication.