Hyderabad: Doctors have raised concerns that children are being given antibiotics by their parents without even seeing doctors.
Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections while most infections in children during the monsoon are viral, many doctors believe. They lamented the general habit of up to 80% of parents giving antibiotics to their children whenever they fall ill. This self-medication could be detrimental to the health of children, according to them.
Pediatrician Dr Shivaranjani Santosh says that currently viral infections like herpangina, foot and mouth disease, dengue fever, influenza, Covid, viral diarrhea and vomiting account for more than 90% of infections in children, while bacterial infections are at 10%.
“For sore throats, they give their children Azithral and Offlomac for loose movements. It can cause side effects like diarrhea and vomiting and can even kill helpful gut bacteria,” she said.
Dr Santosh said specific antiviral drugs are only for certain infections like severe flu and chicken pox.
Consultant Pediatrician at Apollo Cradle, Kondapur, Dr Avash Pani has also received many cases where parents have been given antibiotics for viral infections without consulting a doctor.
“This is a very serious problem and its scale is growing. In fact, when I don’t prescribe antibiotics, parents ask me to,” he says.
Dr Pani said India was struggling with people developing resistance to antibodies due to their indiscriminate use.
Some other common medications that parents give their children without consultation are Azee, Zifi, Taxim, Augmentin, Clampkid, Clavam, Copedem, Monocef, and Oflox OZ. They advised all parents to consult a doctor for the sake of their children.