In a bid to check self-medication which could result in serious complications in dengue patients, the district administration has banned over-the-counter (OTC) sale of analgesics-antipyretics and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) barring paracetamol in the city.
The drug inspectors have issued instructions to all the pharmacies and medicine shops in Cuttack to desist from handing over analgesics apart from paracetamol to people without doctor’s prescription.
Paracetamol is the only drug advised for management of fever and pain in suspected dengue cases as other analgesics-antipyretics like ibuprofen, aspirin or aspirin containing drugs and NSAIDs can worsen the condition of the patients and lead to serious complications. “Many people go for self-medication at the onset of fever or for pain relief. As the city is witnessing an outbreak of dengue, OTC sale of such drugs has been restricted and people are being persuaded to consult doctors before taking such medicines,” said Collector Girish SN.
Meanwhile, the administration has launched the registration card system for patients, who submit blood samples for tests so that they can be tracked and channelised for treatment if they are confirmed to be positive for dengue.
A toll-free helpline is also set to be operational from Saturday to monitor cases as well as guide patients on their management.
The helpline with a toll-free number 1800 3456 709 has been installed at the special Dengue OPD of the SCB medical College and Hospital with 24-hour service by doctors.
People can obtain any information on signs and symptoms of the disease. Patients who have required hospitalisation can use the number to report their condition and seek guidance if they suspect any deterioration or complication.
The SCB has also decided to make use of an additional Elisa machine to speed up tests for dengue even as it has started the process of procuring a machine. With only one Elisa machine, the hospital is hard-pressed to handle the increasing burden.
There are two Elisa machines at ART Centre and Haematology Department, one of which can be temporarily used for dengue tests, Girish said.