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Doctors have been advised to use caution while prescribing antibiotics as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued a warning against the use of it. While prescribing antibiotics for viral bronchitis and low-grade fever, doctors have been asked to follow a timeline.

Skin and soft tissue infections should be treated with antibiotics for five days, community-acquired pneumonia should be treated for five days, and hospital-acquired pneumonia should be treated for eight days, as per the ICMR guidelines.

Empiric antibiotic treatment is often only advised for a small subset of patients who have severe sepsis, septic shock, community-acquired pneumonia, ventilator-associated pneumonia or necrotizing fasciitis. The new recommendations ask that only severe conditions should receive empiric antibiotic therapy.

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"A clinical diagnosis most often helps us predict causative pathogens fitting into a clinical syndrome which would tailor the correct antibiotic rather than blindly relying on fever, procalcitonin levels, WBC counts, cultures or radiology to make a diagnosis of infection," the guidelines said.

A sizable percentage of Indian patients may no longer benefit from the administration of carbapenem, a strong antibiotic frequently used in ICU settings to treat conditions like pneumonia and septicemia, among others, because they have developed anti-microbial resistance to it - according to a previous ICMR study.

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Bacterium klebsiella pneumoniae showed a decline in susceptibility to certain antibiotics, going from 65% in 2016 to 45% in 2020, and then to 43% in 2021, further demonstrating the trend of decreasing bacterial susceptibility to medicines. Imipenem resistance grew from 14% in 2016 to 36% in 2021, and it is used to treat illnesses brought on by the E coli bacterium.

The analysis of the data indicated a consistent rise in pathogens that are drug-resistant, making it challenging to treat some infections with the drugs currently on the market.

(With PTI inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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