01. tbl. 105. árg. 2019

Use of medication, supplements and natural products during pregnancy

Notkun lyfja, fæðubótarefna og náttúruvara á meðgöngu

Introduction: Evidence-based information regarding the use of medication during pregnancy is lacking, even though the use of medication during pregnancy is considered common and often neccesary. The aim of this study was to obtain reliable information on the use of medications during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and the use of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, herbs and other natural products. Women´s attitude and beliefs towards the use of medications was also examined.

Material and methods: The study was conducted at the Prenatal Diagnosis Unit at Landspitali from January to April 2017. Women who attended routine ultrasound examination at 20 weeks were offered to participate. A questionnaire was submitted to partici­pants in an interview with the researcher following the doctor's appointment.

Results: Of the 213 participants, 90% used medication at least once during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Approximately 80% of these medications belong to FASS safety classes A and B and are considered safe during pregnancy. The proportion of women who did not use folic acid was 14% which was associated with residence in rural areas (p=0.03) and younger age (p=0.019). Natural products were used by 14% but information about their safety is lacking. The majority (81%) was satisfied with the information they received when a drug was prescribed and 94% said they had sufficient access to information about medication use during pregnancy. The most commonly used sources of information were the internet (51%) and the local midwive (44%).

Conclusion: The use of medications and supplements during pregnancy is common. Most medications being used are considered safe during pregnancy. The majority of pregnant women take folic acid. Pregnant women have a logical and generally a positive attitude towards medication use during pregnancy.

Table I. Participant's demographic information.

Table II. The most common medications that participants used during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, classified according to regular use and use as needed, and also reasons for the use.

Table III. Answers to statements to investigate beliefs and information regarding medication and herbal use during pregnancy.

Figure 1. Number of medications each woman used during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Figure 2. Proportion of medications used in the study in each FASS safety category.

Figure 3. Use of folic acid among participants during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

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