In a report from the Indian capital, the SARS virus has increased demand for macrolides,
resulting in severely affected countries like China approaching the Indian pharmaceutical
companies for additional supplies. Macrolides are a family of antibiotics that treat a wide range
of bacterial infections. While doctors are still battling with the exact cure for SARS,
macrolides, commonly used for treating lower respiratory tract infections, seems to have emerged
as a preferred drug in treating SARS.
Indian pharmaceutical companies have reported that order inquiries have gone up by four to five
times from China and Southeast Asia, which forms the epicenter of the epidemic. China is turning
to India at this stage as it traditionally meets some of its macrolide requirements.
While medical practitioners are still struggling to find the cure for the killer disease, the
macrolides, widely used for treating pneumonia, are the favored drug prescribed by medical
pfsractitioners at present. Macrolides include drugs such as erythromycin, azithromycin,
clarithromycin and roxithromycin. They are particularly useful in the treatment of lower
respiratory track infections.