Doctors’ Preferences About Antibiotics And Supplementary Therapy For Diarrheal Diseases

In 2011, it is estimated that there were 78,000 deaths due to rotavirus associated AGE in India, with the majority (75.6%, 59,000) in the first 2 years of life. Between 2000-2018, fortunately, there has been a steady decline in deaths where diarrhoea deaths fell by 69.7%.

Objective: Determining drug prescribing patterns for infectious gastroenteritis

A total of 102 physicians participated in the survey — General Practitioners (77%), General Surgeons (14%), Internists (7%), and Gastroenterologists (2%).

  1. 39% of physicians consider Metronidazole as their first drug of choice for infectious gastroenteritis, while Ciprofloxacin (24%) and Norfloxacin (20%) were the next top choices recorded

  2. When asked about their second choice of drug, doctors stated that it was Ofloxacin (45%) and Tinidazole (27%)

  3. The majority of doctors (57%) stated that they prescribe probiotics as supplements to their patients, followed by B-complex (14%) and Multivitamins (14%)

  4. 45% of doctors mentioned that they consider substituting the drug in cases of Antibacterial Spectrum, 41% if the patients are either children or pregnant mothers, 37% for Susceptibility testing, and 22% in cases of comorbidities

  5. 62% of doctors prefer to prescribe a combination of drugs and ORS, while 29% add ORS and IV fluids along with the drugs

  6. A majority of doctors (70%) were found to be in favour of the effectiveness of probiotics in managing Gastroenterotitis.


As per CDC Compare 2018, in India diarrheal disease still remains the 4th leading cause of death. In monsoon along with flu, diarrhoea is amongst the most important reason for absenteeism for working people and has a larger socio-economic impact. As per UNICEF diarrhoea alone is responsible for 1.5 million deaths per annum, globally. Over half of the deaths occur in just five countries: India, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ethiopia. Our study shows the appropriate usage of antibiotics and rehydration therapy by primary care physicians. Diarrhoea is both preventable and treatable, with the remarkable work by government and non-profit organizations, we are observing a decline in the deaths due to diarrhoea in children. However, a detailed study of its impact on the working population as well as the usage and resistance pattern of antibiotics still remains to be studied at the national level.

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