Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
MARIN, Gustavo Horacio et al. Taking medicine during pregnancy in females living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2010, vol.12, n.5, pp. 722-731. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642010000500003.
Objective Describing how medicine was taken by pregnant females living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during 2008. Methods A random sample of females who had delivered during 2008 was surveyed and interviewed regarding pertinent general data, the health care they had received during pregnancy and characteristics concerning their deliveries. Information related to antenatal care included maternal reports concerning the use of medicine during pregnancy; medicine was classified as having low, medium or high risk for the foetus. Prescriptions were also analysed. A physical examination of all newborns was performed after delivery to detect any birth defect. Results 90.6 % of the 1,338 women included had taken at least one medicine/drug during their pregnancy and 81.9 % had taken medicines apart from folate-iron (usually indicted as prophylaxis). Average medicine/drug use was two per pregnant female. Iron (71.8 %), folic acid (40.3 %), antibiotics (40.9 %), analgesics, antiemetics (30.8 %) and vitamins (19.7 %) were the medicines which were most used throughout pregnancy. Logistic regression analysis of medicine use showed increased usage risk for older women, those having a higher education level or those having higher socioeconomic status. Self-medication was observed in 32.3 % of the sample; 21.5 % of the medicines consumed were considered as being high risk medicines by the US FDA. The incidence of malformations detected was 0.6 %. Conclusion 9 out of 10 females had used at least one drug/medicine during their pregnancy. To avoid unnecessary exposure to potential risk during pregnancy medicine use should be strictly related to patient's health needs, in line with the best benefit/risk ratio.
Keywords : Pregnancy; drug use; risk.