Last Updated on Jun 28, 2018

Prevention of Drug Resistance

Judicious use of antimicrobials in the correct dose can prevent drug resistance.

  • Antibiotics should be prescribed very cautiously. They should be prescribed only once an infection has been confirmed as bacterial. A common mistake is prescribing antibiotics for viral infections such as sore throat. Ideally, culture should be carried out to confirm the cause of the infection before antibiotics are prescribed. Sensitivity tests should also be done to determine which antibiotic would be effective against the organism.
  • The patient should be advised to take the antibiotics for the prescribed period. He should not stop them before time even if he feels fine.
  • For some illnesses such as tuberculosis and HIV, a combination of drugs should be used to prevent resistance.
  • Some drugs such as penicillin may be administered with another drug that inhibits the enzymes produced by the bacteria that cause resistance. E.g. Amoxicillin, a penicillin derivative, is often prescribed with clavulanic acid. Clavulanic acid inhibits beta lactamase drug produced by bacteria, thus allowing amoxicillin to carry out its action.
  • Regulations should be in place to control the use of antibiotics.
  • Use of vaccines and other preventive methods can reduce infections and the need for antimicrobials. For example, BCG vaccine may reduce the number of tuberculosis cases, thus reducing the requirement for antitubercular drugs and the chances of resistance.
  • Physicians as well as the public should be educated regarding the proper use of antimicrobials.
  • Use of antibiotics in farm animals should be restricted.


  1. Raghunath D 2008. Emerging antibiotic resistance in bacteria with special reference to India; J. Biosci. 33 593603
  2. KD Tripathi. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology 6th edition
  3. Goodman and Gilman. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics 11th edition

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