August 10, 2023
India is the largest consumer of antibiotics in the world. High antibiotic consumption is linked to the emergence and community spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria. It is well-established that antibiotic overuse is one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance, which is a major global public health challenge.
Optimizing antibiotic usage is, thus, an essential issue. Before promoting and defining judicious antibiotic prescribing, it is crucial to analyze practitioners’ diagnostic and prescribing practices. Hence, a nationwide retrospective questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 950 Indian doctors.
This survey aimed to describe the approaches and practices of Indian doctors towards antibiotic use in upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO) and compare practices with national guidelines. These are the most common reasons for primary health care consultations and significantly contribute to the overuse of antibiotics.
According to the survey, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid remains the first-line antibiotic for URTI treatment. Third-generation cephalosporins were found to be the most prescribed antibiotics for PUO, uncomplicated typhoid and infections during pregnancy.
Our survey results show that most of the clinicians in our study were well aware of the guidelines for antimicrobial use issued by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the nationwide problem of antimicrobial resistance. This study provides an important insight into the prescribing practices of antibiotics among Indian doctors.
Keywords: Antibiotic usage, URTI, PUO, Questionnaire survey
*Professor and Head, Dept. of Respiratory Medicine
†Junior Resident, Dept. of Emergency Medicine
King George’s Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Address for correspondence
Dr Surya Kant
Professor and Head, Dept. of Respiratory Medicine, King George’s Medical University,
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Indian Journal of Clinical Practice, Vol. 33, No. 10, March 2023