DRUG UTILIZATION PATTERN DURING PREGNANCY IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT
Sara A. Hanafy*, Sunny A. Sallam, Ibrahim F. Kharboush and Iman H. Wahdan
Background: Drug use (DU) in pregnancy is a global public health concern in both developed and developing countries. Aim: To assess the magnitude and pattern of DU during pregnancy in Alexandria, Egypt. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 600 pregnant women from 20 antenatal care (ANC) clinics affiliated to the three institutional health facilities in Alexandria Governorate, Egypt; Ministry of Health, Health Insurance Organization and Alexandria University. Results: The findings revealed a high prevalence (96.3%) of DU during pregnancy. The proportion of prescribed-only- medications (POM) was 95.6%, compared to only 4.4% over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Category B medications (41.3%), 30.2% unclassified, 15.0% category C, 12.1% category A, 0.9% category X and 0.5% category D. Most commonly used medications were for GIT disorders (25.3%). The majority of respondents (88.0%) took supplements and a relatively high prevalence (41.8%) of herbal intake was observed with 56.3% of herbs consumed in the first trimester. Conclusion: There is an irrational prescribing trend of drugs during pregnancy. The prevalence of teratogenic medications of category D and X is of concern even if it is low. High herbal use especially in first trimester warrants special attention.
Keywords: Drug use, prescribed-only-medications, over-the-counter medications, supplements, herbs, pregnancy.
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