Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 28, 2007

Don’t simply use antibiotics, doctors told

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:02 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: Stop prescribing antibiotics for viral infections.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican advised doctors to only prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections.
He said the ministry was concerned over the increase in anti-microbial resistance as a result of antibiotics being used to fight viral infections.
“If we do not contain the problem, we will soon have a situation where patients will not be treated effectively looking at the fact that we do not have many new antibiotics being produced worldwide,” he said.
Dr Ismail was speaking to reporters after delivering his keynote address themed “The resurgence of infectious diseases” at the Academy of Family Physicians of Malaysia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners inaugural joint general practice conference.
“Not all infections, including fever, are bacterial infections. Antibiotics are meant for bacterial infections. Many cases coming to doctors are viral infections which do not require antibiotics,” Dr Ismail said.
He said patients should not go “clinic hopping” when they were not prescribed antibiotics.
“Even if a patient is suffering from upper respiratory tract infection, it does not mean he has to be given antibiotics,” he added.
He advised doctors to be very careful in prescribing antibiotics as little could be done in the event of resistance.
In his keynote address, Dr Ismail said infectious and parasitic diseases were the second highest cause of death worldwide.
Dr Ismail said Malaysia had been hit by several infectious diseases like Nipah Virus, SARS, dengue, typhoid and leptospirosis.
“We now face the Avian flu and a probable forecast of a pandemic,” he added.
He said Malaysia was prepared with its National Strategic Plan to face the Avian flu.
“We have initiated simulation exercises nationwide in the event of outbreaks here,” he said.

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