London: Regular use of cough and cold medicines is not good for health as it makes a person immune against antibiotics, experts have warned.
The prescription of the pills, even when it is not required, is fuelling a rise in number of infections that are resistant to antibiotics, experts at European Centre of Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm said.
Due to routine use of cough and cold drugs, modern medicine is reaching a point when it will not be able to function as antibiotics would become powerless to fight life-threatening hospital infections, the Telegraph reported.
“If this wave of antibiotic resistance gets over us, we will not be able to do organ transplants, hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and neonatal care for premature babies,” said Dominic Monnet, senior expert at ECDC.
Echoing Monnet’s views, Laurance Buckman, chairman of the British Medical Association’s General Physicians committee, said, “the idea that antibiotics cure coughs and colds and are all purpose things that are good for you has to be discarded”.
Sarah Earnshaw, another expert at ECDC said, patients, especially parents are often demanding antibiotics for their children. A survey in 2002 showed that 60% of people did not know that antibiotics do not work against viruses such as flu".
The ECDC would be writing to all general physicians warning them about overuse of the drugs and giving them materials to help them explain to demanding patients that antibiotics must be used sparingly, she added.