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Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1990;38(4):325-8.

Drug use in pregnancy: an overview of epidemiological (drug utilization) studies.

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Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano, Italy.


The need for further information on drug utilization patterns during pregnancy in different countries was assessed by reviewing literature obtained by hand and computer searches for the years 1960-1988. The 13 identified studies showed that pregnant women used an average of 4.7 drugs. The most commonly ingested medications were vitamins and iron preparations (almost all women), analgesics, antiemetics and antacids. However, the important variables taken into account differently in each study, such as date of surveillance, country, size of population, personal habits, and physiopathological and demographic characteristics, may it impossible to construct a comprehensive, detailed, up-to-date picture of drug utilization during pregnancy. The evaluation confirmed the need for systematic permanent surveillance of drug utilization in pregnancy, so as to avoid the use of data based on widely differing contexts, times and methods, in a field where knowledge is often derived from scanty information.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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