With self medication on the rise in Uganda, there is a worry of an imminent antibiotic resistance that is slowly turning into a “silent epidemic” in the country.
According to one of the Pharmacists interviewed by Radio France Internationale, five out of every 25 customers received on a daily basis go to pharmacies with medical prescriptions while others buy over the counter medicines as advised by their friends.
Now pharmacists are worried that the drugs such as doxycycline, azithromycin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, metronidazole and tetracycline are the most commonly bought medicines.Though they are effective in treating bacterial infections, they are slowly becoming resistant due their improper usage.
The Fatboy Show presenter Olive Najjuma said that although she still buys the “good old paracetamol” over the counter, she has learnt not to take any drugs without prescription by a doctor and to seek medical checkups when she suspects a bacterial infection.
“I've learnt over the years not to self medicate. Ever since a doctor told me that panadol extra contains caffeine in it and it is dangerous when taken often, when I have a headache, I'm not going to just take painkillers and when I feel that I have a bacterial infection, I go for a checkup,” she said.
Daniel Omara, The Fatboy Show co-host disclosed that as a pharmacophoric person, he rarely takes painkillers and would prefer injections to oral tablets.
“If you put medication on a stick and beat me with it, I'd be happier than if you told me to swallow tablets because my gag reflex is horrible,” Daniel said.
Further, Olive said that in her experience, she witnessed a number of mothers giving their children medicine without a prescription from a doctor yet it is dangerous.
“The more you give these kids antibiotics, you are weakening the bacteria that can fight against some ailments and when you reach a time and want to use the antibiotics, they can't work,”she explained.
According to research done by drug resistance specialists at Makerere University, drugs such as septrin have been found to be 100 percent resistant to bacteria, ceftriaxone at 70 percent, 50 percent are resistant to ampicillin and 80 percent are resistant to amoxicillin.
They therefore called upon Ugandans to avoid self-prescription and endeavor to complete the medications as prescribed by doctors so as to avoid drug resistance that can make an infection hard to treat.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.