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Mumbai: ‘TB meds being prescribed for mild cough even in kids,' says IAP

Updated on: 11 July,2024 06:24 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Paediatricians resolve to make parents aware of risks of haphazard antibiotic use, which could increase resistance

Mumbai: ‘TB meds being prescribed for mild cough even in kids,' says IAP

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Mumbai: ‘TB meds being prescribed for mild cough even in kids,' says IAP

The Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), a collective of 45,000 doctors across the country, including 1,200 based in the city, has resolved to raise awareness among the masses about the haphazard use of antibiotics for ailments like cough.

Overuse of medicines categorised as antimicrobial, including antibiotics and antivirals, increases the risk of the body developing resistance to these medicines. “For something like a cough, parents give over-the-counter antibiotics like azithromycin for their children,” noted Dr Bela Verma, head of JJ's paediatric department and a member of IAP.

Worse, she added, is that sometimes doctors prescribe medicines to children that are used to treat serious infections. “Antibiotics like Linezolid or Levofloxacin, used in DR-TB treatment, are sometimes prescribed for patients (both paediatric and adults) by some general practitioners," she said. 

Dr Verma said, “Mumbai is a ticking bomb for drug-resistant TB. If people continue to consume these second-line drugs, they will develop resistance to them.”

As part of this campaign, Dr Verma will be holding sessions on antibiotic resistance and home management of cough with parents of paediatric patients visiting the OPD at JJ hospital. “There are other pediatricians who will be doing this as well. IAP doctors will also be visiting schools and slums to create awareness,” Dr Verma said.

‘Ask for a diagnosis’

Dr Samir Dalwai, another paediatrician with IAP, said most coughs are caused by allergies and do not need medications. “Even warm water or water with honey and ginger is enough to provide relief from a cough. The treatment requires time and rest. For paediatric patients or even adults, antibiotics cannot be a fast-track way to have it over by tomorrow.”

Both Dr Verma and Dr Dalwai noted that patients need to ask for a diagnosis if prescribed antibiotics by doctors. “This awareness needs to be there among the masses because doctors are pressured into prescribing medicines. If a doctor prescribes antibiotics on their own, patients need to ask for a precise diagnosis instead of taking whatever the doctor provides.” 

No. of doctors who are part of IAP

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