Who is overusing antibiotics?

The question remains.. if antibiotics overused is a big cause for antimicrobial emerging resistant, then who is overusing antibiotics in the first place?

Many debated this and try to point a finger to each other. Doctors try to blame pharmacist, pharmacist tries to blame doctors, both blame veterinary in the end. Veterinary point finger back to doctors. Its crazy, imagine a meeting with three people in the same room.

Nevertheless, science is based on evidence. We have to prove our blame.

I would also at some point in time used to blame pharmacist on this. When I started working as a medical doctor, I once visited a pharmacy to treat myself. Without revealing myself as a medical doctor, I would ask for a course of antibiotics and it was so easy to get one. More frequently I visited a pharmacy to buy something, they would be a customer who would ask for antibiotic for their fever and running nose, and to my surprise, they would get what they want without much hassle. The only thing the pharmacist would say was to complete the course no matter what.

This has changed. Today, with more restriction, you cannot get antibiotic without prescription from doctor anymore. Even me myself as a doctor find it hard to treat myself with antibiotic if its indicated. I have to go and consult another doctor just to get a prescription. It is a good sign.

What if doctors are the one who are causing overuse of antibiotics? Can't denied that. Years ago, before I myself became a doctor, my parent would bring me to a clinic for a common cold, I can remember 50% of the time, I would get antibiotics. I even warded once because of side effect of antibiotics. Doctors do give antibiotics like it was nothing before.

This also has changed. Doctors now already realized that antibiotics are a double edge sword. It can treat and cause a problem in the future. With restriction and active antimicrobial stewardship, many doctors now try to avoid antibiotic in the first place. Even if you asked for it, most of the time you wouldn't get it. That is a good sign.

With two persons have been dealt with, the problem of resistant won't go away. They must be a third person. And yes, there was a third person. After the incident of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae reported in Sarawak, our government start to investigate and regulate animal farm in regards of using antibiotics in animal feed. Turn out that many farms have been given antibiotics in animal feed to prevent them from getting an infection and become more healthy. The problem arises when a resistant organism started to flourish and eventually spilled out to the human population.

Now with regulation, the farming industry has been restricted from using antibiotics in their animal feed. This is a good sign.

With every person has been addressed, the antimicrobial resistant problem will be solved.....

Nope. Far from it, or should I say 90 years too late. Just after the discovery of antibiotics in 1928, we have been warned by Mr. Fleming regarding a peculiar behavior of bacteria that can change and become resistant to penicillin after exposure to it. That is around 90 years ago, and we have done nothing about it.

90 years later, the important question is not who is overusing antibiotics... but what we are going to do about it? All parties have been overusing it. Now is the time to admit the blame and to work tirelessly to overcome it.

Everyone should stop giving and asking for antibiotics, and everyone should stop pointing finger at each other and start working together to stop antibiotics resistant from spreading.


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