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Keywords:

  • drug use;
  • prescribing pattern;
  • pregnancy;
  • Nepalese women;
  • western Nepal

Abstract

Information on the use of drugs during pregnancy is scarce and rather anecdotal. Careful consideration of the benefit to the mother and the risk to the fetus is required when prescribing drugs during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to gain knowledge on this issue in western Nepal. 2156 prescriptions of pregnant women were collected at random from the antenatal care (ANC) in obstetrics out-patient department (OPD) at Manipal Teaching Hospital (MTH), Nepal and analyzed for this study. The mean maternal age and hemoglobin concentration were 25 years and 12.21 g/dl, respectively. Twenty-three percent women attended obstetric OPD due to maternal disorders other than routine ANC (77%). Problem oriented drug use was due to nausea/vomiting (4.7%), dyspepsia (3.1%), and per vaginal spotting/bleeding (3.4%), mainly. Most of the women got 2–3 drugs and commonly included nutritional supplementation and tetanus toxoid. The average number of drugs/prescription was 2.00. 15.37% and 64.8% drugs were prescribed by generic name and as fixed dose combinations, respectively. The most commonly prescribed drugs were nutritional supplements like iron, folate, calcium, vitamins (72.8%), followed by tetanus toxoid (12.4%), gastrointestinals (5%), antimicrobials (4.6%), etc. Though, the selection of drugs was rational in most of the cases, some anomalies were observed and discussed with the clinicians. Our data reflect the general extent and prescribing pattern for those Nepalese pregnant women attending hospital in western Nepal. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.