Saturday February 16, 2019

Antibiotics Most Frequently Prescribed Medicine Worldwide

Considering most countries have laws prohibiting over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, there is a need to ensure such laws are more strictly enforced where appropriate

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The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units.
The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units. (IANS)

The increased over-the-counter supply of antibiotics in many countries including India, is worsening antibiotic resistance globally, finds a study highlighting an urgent need for better enforcement of laws.

The study found that between 2000 and 2010, the consumption of antibiotics increased globally from 50 billion to 70 billion standard units.

A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

“This overuse of antibiotics could facilitate the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. In India, for example, about 57,000 neonatal sepsis deaths occurring annually are due to antibiotic-resistant infections,” said Emmanuel Adewuyi, from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

It accounts for more than two million infections and 23,000 deaths annually in the US, and around 25,000 deaths in Europe each year.

A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
A majority of overall increase occurred in India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. (IANS)

“Reliable estimates of the burden of antibiotic-resistant infections in developing countries are lacking but it is believed to cause many more deaths in these countries,” Adewuyi added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Infection, the team analysed studies from 24 countries.

The study found that antibiotics supplied without prescription were largely for the treatment of acute and self-limited conditions such as upper respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.

Also Read: Oral Antibiotics Possess Threat of Kidney Stones

“Many were also broad-spectrum antibiotics like amoxicillin, azithromycin and others which increase the risk of development of difficult-to-treat infections like the deadly methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” Adewuyi said.

“Such practice not only predisposes patients to inappropriate drug and dose choices, it portends great risks for the development and spread of resistant organisms, masking of diagnosis as well as delayed hospital admissions,” said Asa Auta from the University of Central Lancashire in Britain.

“Considering most countries have laws prohibiting over-the-counter sales of antibiotics, there is a need to ensure such laws are more strictly enforced where appropriate,” Adewuyi noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Shortage Of Blood Pressure Drugs After Recall: FDA

The agency said that it determined that the impurities "may be generated when specific chemicals and reaction conditions are present in the manufacturing process"

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Blood Pressure, Drugs
A man has his blood pressure checked at a clinic in Wise, Virginia, July 22, 2017. VOA

Additional shortages of blood pressure drugs in the United States are possible following recent recalls related to traces of a probable carcinogen found in some versions a particular class of hypertension medicines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The drugs, including valsartan, belong to a class of widely-used medicines for treating high blood pressure called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs. Valsartan is the generic of Novartis’ Diovan.

The FDA also said it may have identified the root cause of the potentially cancer-causing impurities but that it is still investigating.

The recalls began last summer after the FDA was informed that ingredients used by Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals Co (Huahai) to produce valsartan contained the impurities. The FDA later halted all imports from one of Huahai’s factories.

Drugs
Some generic versions of other ARBS, such as losartan and irbesartan, have also been recalled.

Other manufacturers have also had to recall valsartan after the impurities were found in their versions of the drug.

It is currently listed as in shortage by the FDA.

Generic drugs

Some generic versions of other ARBS, such as losartan and irbesartan, have also been recalled. The most recent recall was announced earlier this week.

Also Read: New Wearable Patch That Helps in Monitoring Blood Pressure

The agency said that it determined that the impurities “may be generated when specific chemicals and reaction conditions are present in the manufacturing process” and “may also result from the reuse of materials, such as solvents.”

The reuse of solvents is an accepted practice in the industry, but manufacturers are generally expected to ensure that reused materials meet certain safety standards. (VOA)