Mon. May 27th, 2024

Delhi Government Requires Prescription for Painkillers Amid Dengue Rise

In response to a surge in dengue cases, the Delhi government’s Department of Drugs Control has issued an advisory to chemists, urging them not to sell painkiller medications such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen without a doctor’s prescription.

The advisory, released on July 19, comes as vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya are on the rise during the rainy season. The department has specifically mentioned Ibuprofen and Diclofenac group of medicines, which can cause platelet destruction in human blood, as drugs that should only be sold with a prescription from a Registered Medical Practitioner.

Chemist shop owners are instructed not to engage in over-the-counter sales of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Diclofenac until further notice. They are also advised to maintain records of their stocks of painkiller drugs falling under this category. The department warns of severe action against those who disregard this advice.

Medical experts have cautioned against the unmonitored use of such drugs, particularly for patients with vector-borne diseases. These medications, while commonly used to manage pain and inflammation, can lead to platelet depletion in the blood. Platelets are vital for blood clotting, and their reduction can result in severe bleeding and complications for patients affected by dengue and similar diseases.

As of mid-July this year, more than 160 dengue cases have been reported in Delhi, marking the highest number for this period since 2018. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) also recorded 54 cases of malaria during the same period.

Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the preparedness for controlling vector-borne diseases in the national capital. However, so far, there has been no significant increase in cases of dengue, chikungunya, or malaria post-flooding. Instead, most reports have been about conjunctivitis and skin allergies in relief camps.

The MCD has taken preventive measures by carrying out fogging and spraying insecticides in flood relief camps to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases.

Furthermore, the Delhi health department announced that the existing helpline (1031) used during the COVID-19 pandemic will now be used to facilitate dengue treatment. This step aims to provide comprehensive support to individuals in need of medical assistance during the dengue season.

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