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ABSTRACT

A wide variety of drugs are available for the treatment of common gastrointestinal health problems in women, including minor or serious as well as acute or chronic conditions. The midwife needs to be current in the pharmacology of over-the-counter as well as prescriptive agents for both pregnant and nonpregnant women. The drug classifications reviewed in this article include antacids, H2 receptor antagonists, antimicrobials, proton pumps, antiemetics, emetics, cholinergics, laxatives, prokinetics, and antidiarrheals. In addition, the physiologic principles are reviewed to enhance the understanding of how these drugs work.