IMA Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative Spurious use of antibiotics has lead to the emergence of pathogens resistant to multiple antimicrobial drugs. New Delhi, March 25, 2017: Use of antibiotics needs to be carefully monitored to curb unnecessary prescription, as we are currently witnessing rising antimicrobial resistance on a global scale. Antibiotics work by targeting specific mechanisms within the microorganisms essential for growth and survival, however, bacteria have certain defense systems that gradually evade these effects, and become resistant. Spurious use of antibiotics can speed up this defense system much faster than we can counteract them. Hence, it is necessary that awareness be raised about global antibiotic resistance and encourage best practices of usage amongst doctors and patients. Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “It is important to understand when the doctor or the patient at fault is when antibiotic usage is concerned. From the physician’s side, over prescription needs to be controlled. Sometimes, these drugs are given as a preventive measure rather than a cure. Moreover, in the interest of being careful, physicians deem it best to prescribe a low dose antibiotic even when the said drug is not clinically required. From the patient’s side, self medication is worrisome. Several of clinically precious antibiotics are available over the counter, and are often taken without a guided instruction about dosage and proper regimen.” “Antibiotic resistance is a global concern. No new class of antibiotics have been discovered or invented during last three decades. We stand at the edge of an imminent ‘post-antibiotic’ era where resistant bacteria can render precious lifesaving drugs obsolete. Medical science is heavily dependent on antibiotics, from treating simple tetanus wounds to complex surgical procedures. If this overusage continues, even simple infections will have the potential to be fatal. It is important that both medical and patient community become more aware about the judicious and just use of these precious drugs”, add Dr K K Aggarwal. Following are some key points: • Refrain from prescribing antibiotics when no bacterial infection exists. • Wrong dose and unnecessarily long treatment schedules can give pathogens multiple chances to develop resistance. • Use National Treatment Guidelines for use of Antibiotics for judicious usage of antimicrobial agents. • No need to use antibiotics in simple cough and colds, mild diarrhea. • Do not indicate strong antibiotics, when a less strong would be as effective. • Patients should not stop antibiotics as soon as their symptoms start improving. Strengthen Infection prevention and control by adopting hand hygiene and hand shake free culture.