A prospective study of study to assess awareness amongst pregnant women about the effects of drugs on the fetus and self-medication
Keywords:Self-medication, World Health Organization, lack of awareness, foetus.
Introduction: Self-medication as defined by World Health Organization is the “use of medicinal products by the consumer to treat self-recognized disorders or symptoms, or the intermittent or continued use of a medication prescribed by a physician for chronic or recurring diseases or symptoms.” Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study conducted on randomly selected 100 pregnant women attending tertiary care hospital. The study was conducted in department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sri Venkateswaraa Medical College and Research Center, Ariyur, Puducherry. Data was collected by means of a pre-designed semi structured questionnaire composed of 26 questions. The questionnaire used was a modified form of a previously validated survey carried out by Nordeng et al, the modifications made in the questionnaire were discussed in the Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pharmacology department of Sri Venkateswaraa Medical College and Research Center, Ariyur, Puducherry before administering the same to the participants. Results: There were total 100 participants selected in the study. The average age of the participants was 23.7±3.68 years. Not a single participant was below 18 years of age. It was evident from the Table 1 that more than 90% of the participants were in the age group of 18-29 yrs. Only one participant was of the age group 40 and above. Educational status of the participants was as shown in Table 2. It was found that 74% of participants were taking iron and folic acid supplements but only 38.5% participants were aware about the purpose of taking iron and folic acid supplement and only 16% were aware about the duration to which this supplement is to be taken (Table 6). There were only 51% of the participants who were taking these supplements on regular basis. Conclusion: There is a lack of awareness amongst the pregnant women regarding the effect of the drugs on the health of foetus. More than half of the women take medication on regular basis. However, low proportion of self-medication during pregnancy suggests that during pregnancy women preferred to take advice of physician for medication rather than taking self-medication.
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