The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued guidelines asking people not to use antibiotics for low fever or diseases like viral bronchitis and advised doctors to keep in mind the timeline while prescribing these drugs.
ICMR guidelines state that antibiotics should be given for five days for skin and soft tissue infections, five days for community-acquired pneumonia and eight days for hospital-acquired pneumonia.
The guidelines state, “Diagnostic testing helps us to find out about the pathogens that cause the symptoms of the disease. This will help in formulating the right dose of antibiotic instead of blindly relying on fever, procalcitonin level, WBC count, culture or radiology to diagnose the infection.”
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ICMR has advised limiting empiric antibiotic therapy to critically ill patients. A survey conducted by this research body between January 1 and December 31, 2021, said that a large number of patients in India are no longer finding ‘carbapenem’ antibiotics useful and no longer affecting them.
Analysis of the data has pointed to a continued increase in pathogens that may underlie drug efficacy, and this increase has resulted in some infections becoming more difficult to treat with available drugs.