Wednesday October 24, 2018

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)
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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)

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Feeding Probiotics to Infants Daily May Reduce Antibiotic Prescription in Future

For the study, the team pooled data from twelve studies together. The probiotics used in the reviewed studies were strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium

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Probiotics
Can probiotic use help reduce antibiotic prescriptions in children? Find it out here.

Feeding probiotics to infants and children daily may significantly stave off the need for antibiotic treatment, a finding that may help address the global rise in drug-resistant infections, said researchers.

The study found that infants and children were 29 per cent less likely to have been prescribed antibiotics if they received probiotics as a daily health supplement.

The results, published in the European Journal of Public Health, are very intriguing, the researchers said.

“Given this finding, potentially one way to reduce the use of antibiotics is to use probiotics on a regular basis,” said Daniel Merenstein, professor at Georgetown University.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance occurred among 500,000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries.

Reducing the use of antibiotics is one strategy in combating resistance.

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Say no to your kids for junk food, instead add healthy snacks. Pixabay

“We already have evidence that consuming probiotics reduces the incidence, duration, and severity of certain types of common acute respiratory and gastrointestinal infections,” Merenstein said.

However, it is not clear how probiotics help fight infections.

Merenstein said: “There are many potential mechanisms, such as probiotic production of pathogen inhibitors, immune regulation, among others.

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“We don’t know all the mechanisms probiotic strains may leverage. But since most of the human immune system is found in the gastrointestinal tract, ingesting healthy bacteria may competitively exclude bacterial pathogens linked to gut infections and may prime the immune system to fight others,” he explained.

For the study, the team pooled data from twelve studies together. The probiotics used in the reviewed studies were strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. (IANS)