X Close


Published: Wednesday October 17, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday June 2, 2013 MYT 10:42:54 AM

Antibiotics overuse can kill

PUTRAJAYA: The tendency of Malaysians to pop antibiotics as a quick fix to a range of ailments can lead to antimicrobial resistance that can kill.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the use of antibiotics among Malaysians was rising and the number of cases of antimicrobial resistance or AMR has increased steadily.

He warned that injudicious prescription of antibiotics can cause AMR, meaning that the drug may no longer provide remedial effect against the microorganism which caused the sickness concerned.

This meant that patients would face greater health costs, possibly even risk death, when their bodies failed to respond to the standard treatment of antibiotics when it was truly needed, he said after opening the Annual Scientific Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance 2012 here yesterday.

“A study in 2008 involving 82 public clinics and 17 private clinics showed that the antibiotic prescription rate for upper respiratory tract infection was 46.7% among private primary care clinics and 27.8% in public primary care clinics,” Liow said.

“In our country, we are experiencing an increase in certain AMR cases, namely the extended-spectrum beta lactamase and the acinetobacter (bacteria types).

“My advice to patients is to not demand for antibiotics unless the doctors have diagnosed the need.”

Liow said disciplinary action could be taken against pharmacists who sold antibiotics without a doctor's prescription.

Malaysian Pharmaceutical Soci-ety president Datuk Nancy Ho said the profession had seen cases of patients trying to “self-medicate” by requesting for antibiotics based on what they have read on the Internet.

Tags / Keywords: Nation, News, acinetobacter, antibiotics, Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president, Datuk Nancy Ho, AMR, Government, Health


  1. Malaysian passport 9th best in the world
  2. Japanese oil tanker robbed, three crew believed kidnapped in dramatic dawn raid
  3. KL set to be in 'security lockdown'
  4. 'Godfather' believed to have killed 13-year-old boy
  5. Every kind of success in life depends on our virtues as a person
  6. Brave boy comforts family
  7. College staff turn to loan sharks after salaries unpaid for four months
  8. God saved me from serious harm, says boy
  9. Selangor MB Khalid: Can't stop water rationing yet, but will review next week
  10. Guan Eng: Heads will roll if Penang water rationing imposed