مدى انتشار استخدام الأدوية المصروفة بدون وصفة طبية لدى النساء الحوامل: دراسة مستعرضة في بعض المناطق في الضفة الغربية الفلسطينية
Prevalence of over-the-counter medication use among pregnant women: A cross-sectional study in some areas in the Palestinian West Bank
ملفين مصطفى يوسف مصلح
malvin mustafa yousef musleh
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Background: Over-the-counter medications are widely used by the Palestinian population, including pregnancy women. This study seeks to find out the prevalence of use OTC medications by pregnant women, and the effects of these drugs on their pregnancy. The objectives of the study are concluded in finding out the level of using OTC medications among pregnant women, and the awareness of the effects of such drugs on the women and their babies. This study has been motivated by the fact that taking of over the counter medicines has in some cases resulted in the birth of deformed babies among other challenges health and physical challenges. Methods: The study has employed a descriptive design. The population of the pregnant women will act as the target population. The sampling process was stratified by site and the researcher interviewed 555 pregnant women as target sample. Data were collected by interviewing the pregnant women in three main governate hospitals, in Nablus (North), Ramallah (Center), Hebron (South) and in private clinics and hospitals. These women filled out questionnaires to determine the prevalence of using OTC medications during their pregnancy. The data is analyzed by use of descriptive and inferential statistics andpresented by way of statistical means. Results: Of the 555 women, 391 (70.5%) women were taking OTC medications during pregnancy. The most reported medications used were; OTC vitamins, heartburn and acid reflux medications and analgesics with a percent of use 98.0%, 97.7% and 46.8% respectively. 67.8% of these mothers were in the ages between 20-40, and 64.1% were overweight women. The majority of those taking OTC medications during pregnancy had been directed by the doctors (58.2%), while the pharmacists were the lead source of theinformation (83.1%). 65.0% of pregnant women thought that OTC are safe, but with consultation of the professionals and 29.5 % thought that they are totally unsafe. Conclusion: This study is the first study that detected the prevalence of OTC medications use in Palestinian pregnant women. The prevalence of use was high. We have identified the predictors of OTC medications use and the problems faced during pregnancy leading them to take OTC medications. The lack of awareness on using these medications during pregnancy is alarming. Educational programs should be held for increasing the awareness among pregnant women on the effects of OTC medications on their pregnancy.