Slovaks consume fewer antibiotics, but resistance is rising

Doctors in districts with high antibiotics consumption should think again about whether they are really necessary.

Pharmacy, illustrative stock photoPharmacy, illustrative stock photo (Source: Sme)

Although the consumption of antibiotics in Slovakia is falling, resistance against them is on the rise.

The biggest consumers are children and youth, said Adriána Liptáková from the Health Ministry.

“Bacteria are very adaptable, so they started creating ways to deactivate antibiotics that become ineffective and, at the same time, damage our intestinal flora,” she said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “The results are serious inflammatory bowel diseases and various allergies.”

The most endangered patients are children, who consume nearly twice as many antibiotics a year compared to patients from other age groups, she added. As a result, they can later suffer from various chronic inflammable diseases.

Resistance is dangerous

Antibiotics resistance may also result in serious health complications.

“The biggest problem is in hospitals, particularly in intensive care wards,” said Javol Jarčuška of the Slovak Medical Society, as quoted by SITA. “If you don’t start using antibiotics more carefully, up to 10 million people from across the globe may die in 2050 due to antibiotics resistance."

This is one of the reasons why the government approved the national plan to control inflammatory diseases in January 2019.

The most in Medzilaborce, the least in Košice

The districts with antibiotics consumption exceeding 30 percent include Medzilaborce (Prešov Region), Námestovo (Žilina Region), Stará Ľubovňa (Prešov Region) and Tvrdošín (Žilina Region).

While the highest consumption in 2018 was reported by the Medzilaborce district, the lowest was in the Košice-surrounding district.

There is also low antibiotics prescription in the districts of Krupina (Banská Bystrica Region), Senec (Bratislava Region), and Gelnica (Košice Region).

“These numbers can be a memento for doctors from the districts reporting a higher antibiotics consumption to reassess cases where the use of antibiotics is necessary,” Liptáková said, as quoted by SITA, stressing that antibiotics should not be used in the case of viral diseases.​​​​​​

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