Spike in over-the-counter antibiotic sale in Kerala worries experts


Kochi: Health experts have warned people against the uncontrolled and unscientific consumption of antibiotics in the hope of preventing COVID-19. The warning was issued after the sale of Azithromycin doubled with people self-prescribing and stocking the anti-bacterial drug.

Doctors said buying and using the medicine without the recommendation of a physician could harm the body.

Azithromycin is being sold without medical prescription. Chemists said they were selling the drug over-the-counter considering the difficulties in getting the prescription due to the COVID-19 situation.

Following rumours that the drug was effective against COVID-19, people began stocking and using it on testing positive for coronavirus without a doctor's recommendation.

Azithromycin and certain other third-generation drugs were being prescribed to those with bacterial super infection and pneumonia. People, however, mistook them as effective medicines against COVID-19.

Strict 'no' to self-treatment

COVID-19 patients in quarantine should not take antibiotics without a doctor's recommendation. There is no scientific evidence to prove Azithromycin's effectiveness against COVID-19. Unnecessary use of antibiotics will do harm in future. If antibiotics could not be used effectively, even diseases considered minor could aggravate and prove serious in future, Dr Padmanabha Shenoy, medical expert, said.

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