May 20, 2022

Covid-19 drives up sales of antibiotics and paracetamol tablets | Madurai News

MADURAI: In the wake of the third wave of Covid-19, demand for paracetamol and antibiotics, typically used to treat fevers and bacterial infections, has seen an increase over the past two months. However, pharmacies have been instructed to sell these drugs strictly with proper prescriptions and to avoid over-the-counter sales.
“There has been an increase in sales of paracetamol tablets in particular. Usually between November and January, viral fevers, colds and coughs are common, but now there is also Covid-19. Previously, people only bought one or two paracetamol tablets, but now many buy one or two strips. It has become a habit to stock paracetamol as an essential,” said K Manoharan, State Chairman, Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association. He said they were told not to strictly sell paracetamol without a prescription and to refer customers who ask for it to a doctor. Costing as little as one to two rupees per tablet depending on the brand, paracetamol is one of the cheapest drugs.
In Madurai, almost all the shops ask for prescriptions if the medicine is requested in bulk. “Some customers, especially regulars, insist on getting paracetamol tablets without a prescription. We try to give them two or three and ask them to come with only a prescription if more tablets are needed. It is also a bit difficult for the patients because not all fevers or body aches are due to Covid-19,” said a pharmacist from Kamarajar Salai.
Pharmacies further said they have also been told to try to keep track of the names and phone numbers of those buying paracetamol or other cold and cough medicines. “But patients with other conditions face difficulties. On the other hand, the purchase of such drugs through e-commerce platforms is not controlled,” said Dr Murugesan, pharmacist.