Medication-taking behaviour during pregnancy: is it appropriate?

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The medication-taking behaviour of pregnant women during the first two trimesters of pregnancy was assessed to ascertain whether they were appropriately using over-the-counter (OTC) preparations during pregnancy. 578 (55.7%) women completed and returned a questionnaire, of which 248 (42.9%) reported using one or more medications to treat one of the six common ailments listed in the questionnaire. The majority of medicines purchased were for heartburn and indigestion and which are considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, there were seven (1.9 %) reports of women using oral decongestants which are deemed inappropriate. This study suggests that most women are using available information to make appropriate decisions about OTC medicine use during pregnancy. However, warnings pertaining to the use of oral decongestants may need to be more prominent or woman may need better education on how to interpret them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-697
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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