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Over the counter medication use, perceived safety and decision making Behaviour in pregnant Women in Jos, Nigeria

Author: 
Adeniyi Michael Adebayo, Kadiri O. Jonathan, David Shalkur and Owoicho Sunday Christopher
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Many studies havedescribed the prevalent use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including herbals and vitamins, in pregnancy. The main objective of this study was to assess OTC medication use, perceived safety and decision-making behaviour in pregnant women in Jos, Nigeria. The subjects included 150 pregnant women 18 years and older. Subjects were solicited using a stratified random sample in two tertiary hospitals that provide antenatal care in Jos. A pretested self-completed questionnaire was used to collect data which was coded into Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 to generate descriptive statistics that satisfied the study objectives. Of the 150 respondents, 98.7% had used an OTC medication, herbal, or vitamin during the pregnancy. The most common products included folic acid, ferrous sulphate, paracetamol, Coflin(R) syrup, Gestid(R) suspension, PregnaCare(R)Capsule and Vitamin D plus Calcium. The majority of respondents regarded OTC medications, vitamins, and herbals as “safe, but would talk to a healthcare professional before using.” The most utilized sources of drug information during pregnancy were physicians (66.7%), nurses (16.0%), and midwives (14.7%). Only a few number of respondents obtained general OTC information from pharmacists (12.7%). Almost all subjects had used an OTC medication during their pregnancy and the majority considered OTCs safe after first consulting a healthcare professional. Although a high percentage of subjects have obtained their information and recommendations from healthcare professionals, a very small proportion of subjects had utilized a pharmacist as a resource. These findings highlight the need for thorough medication history taking and proper medication education by clinicians during antenatal care.

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