The Covid-19 surge across the country has not just led to a scramble for hospital beds but has also resulted in people opting for self-prescribed treatment models which could prove dangerous.
Liver, one of the most vital organs of the human body could get impacted due to self-administered medications, warned doctors on the eve of World Liver Day on April 19.
"Use of self-prescribed antibiotics is a common practice by many individuals, especially in India, to fight ailments like fever, cough, cold, which are also considered common symptoms of Covid-19. However, it is important to note that antibiotics do not work against viruses; and they only work on bacterial infections," said Dr. N.Y. Prashanth Chandra, Consultant – Internal Medicine, Gleneagles Global Hospitals.
"Covid-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work, and antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment of Covid-19. It is important people understand this fundamental difference before opting for any self-prescribed treatment protocols," he said.
According to Dr. Anusha Karra, Internal Medicine, Western Plains Hospital, Dodge City, the US, physicians at hospitals might sometimes use antibiotics to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections which can be a complication of Covid-19, and that too among severely ill patients. "This medication should only be used under supervision of a physician to treat a bacterial infection. Instead, using antibiotics as immunity boosters could lead to arrhythmias and complicate the health condition," he added
Dr. Anitha Reddy, a gastroenterologist at SLG Hospitals, says even consumption of good foods in excessive quantities is bad and could lead to health complications at most critical times. "Excessive and unregulated consumption of immunity boosting foods like concoctions made of turmeric or methi, or any vitamin-D & zinc providing foods could be a bad idea. Disproportionate consumption of such food could lead to thinning of blood, and this will have an adverse effect on liver function. People must stay cautious before taking a self-prescribed route towards immunity boosting or treatment of common ailments, as such an unregulated approach could prove to be expensive." Dr. Sukesh Kumar, Head of Medical Services, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospitals, advised people to to reach out to a healthcare provider or available Covid-19 hotline for instructions on symptoms and find out when and where to get a test, stay at home for 14 days away from others and monitor health. "In case of breathlessness or pain in the chest, seek medical attention at the right healthcare facility. If local guidance recommends visiting a medical center for testing, assessment, isolation, wear a medical mask while travelling to and from the facility and during medical care," he said.