Multiprofessional action against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics


(Anastasia Dulgier, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Lillian Morais Silva, a medical student in the 3rd year of the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás, located in the state of Goiás, Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The indiscriminate use of antibiotics is currently a major public health problem in several countries around the world, and is a practice that results in increased antimicrobial resistance. This scenario is largely due to the limited knowledge of some professionals involved in the patient care and care network, as well as to the poor instruction of the severity of this abuse by patients. Therefore, combating this abuse is necessary since its effects are extremely harmful to the quality of life of the human being.

In order for this unregulated and widespread use of antibiotics to be eradicated or at least diminished, it is important that there is a multiprofessional effort, both in providing more information to patients and in strict compliance with the practices of the professionals involved.

In view of this progress in world public health, it is important that there is awareness among medical professionals so that such medicines are not prescribed without actually having a clear and objective need. Still within this doctor-patient relationship, it is also important to raise awareness of the patient’s use of the drug, without breaking the therapeutic time and discontinuing use, as they are relevant factors for increasing antimicrobial resistance.

Regarding the pharmaceutical professionals, it is important the orientation, as well as the one made by the doctor, aiming at a continuity and reinforcement of the information previously provided to the patient. Still, adjuvant to this is important to supervise pharmacies so that the distribution of these antibiotics is made exclusively on prescription, aiming to stop the supply of this product to those who have no clinical indication of this use. In addition to these, the effective participation of the Hospital Infection Control Commissions (CCIH) is important since this committee acts significantly in the analysis of microbiological profile inside the hospital with the subsequent elaboration of guidelines that include antibiotics that act bactericidal and that do not are resistant to the most prevalent bacteria profile in that environment. As for medical students – and all professionals mentioned above – it is up to the transmission of knowledge so that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics by patients does not occur simply because of the lack of understanding of what this practice may result.

Last but not least is the role of regulators that work in the sanitary surveillance of the establishments involved in the release of antibiotics. It is up to them to establish restrictive and control measures for the dispensation of these medicines and, concomitantly, to supervise this process and punishments in case of non-compliance with the pre-established measures.

Therefore, it is understood that the work to contain the damages that may result from the indiscriminate use of antibiotics is multiprofessional. Each one, within their area of ​​expertise, has an important role in the entire care network that involves the patient and, therefore, it is indispensable that there are collective efforts to curb such practice.

About the author

Lillian Morais Silva is currently a medical student in the 3rd year of the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás, located in the state of Goiás, Brazil. She is a member of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations of Brazil (IFMSA Brazil), serving as a member of the national medical education team. She is passionate about medical education and public health issues, which led her to write an article on the indiscriminate use of antibiotics which is a major public health problem in the country she lives in.

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