Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices India®

(An Autonomous Body Recognized by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India)

WHO notifies widespread overuse of antibiotics in patients hospitalized with Covid-19

Recent World Health Organization (WHO) data reveals widespread antibiotic overuse during the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially worsening antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

While only 8% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients had bacterial co-infections requiring antibiotics, about 75% received them preventatively. Antibiotic usage varied widely by region, with rates ranging from 33% in the Western Pacific to 83% in the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa. Notably, prescriptions decreased in Europe and the Americas but rose in Africa from 2020 to 2022.

Severely ill Covid-19 patients globally had the highest antibiotic usage rates (81%). In mild to moderate cases, Africa had the highest usage (79%).

WHO's AWaRe classification categorizes antibiotics by AMR risk. Alarmingly, antibiotics with higher resistance potential were frequently prescribed worldwide.

These findings highlight the urgent need for judicious antibiotic use to minimize adverse effects. Systematic evidence synthesis will inform upcoming WHO recommendations on Covid-19 patient antibiotic use.