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Patterns and Predictors of medication use practices during pregnancy at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya

Author: Kodhiambo M.O.
Is Part Of: Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 23, No. 2 (2017)
Background: The study set out to establish drug use practices among mothers and prescribers at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department of Kenyatta National Hospital. Since it is difficult to determine effects on the foetus before marketing new drugs due to ethical reasons, most drugs are contraindicated in pregnancy. However, pregnancy itself often necessitates medication. A careful balance between the risks of medications to the foetus and the benefits to the mother is therefore necessary. The study assessed patterns and predictors of drug use practices in pregnancy among women admitted to the labour wards of Kenyatta National Hospital. It was carried out as a cross sectional survey at the Obstetrics and Gynaecology wards of Kenyatta National Hospital. Data was analysed using STATA 13 computer software. Knowledge on medication use was measured by a score generated by combining ten variables of knowledge. Association between predictors and knowledge was done by chi square and logistic regression. Up to 70% of the respondents had practiced self-medication with at least one drug during pregnancy.
Paracetamol was the most used for self-medication (30%) while antibiotics were the most prescribed. FDA category B drugs were most prescribed (43.6%). Univariable analysis showed significant relationship between level of knowledge and age greater than 35 years, employment whether in the formal or informal sector compared to not being employed or self-employed and level of education. However, in the multivariable analysis which adjusted for other factors, only level of education was significant for having knowledge of drug use in pregnancy. These results provide sufficient evidence to conclude that level of knowledge of a mother on drug use in pregnancy significantly influences her self-medication practices while pregnant. This implies that a lot of effort should be put towards improving level of education of women as this will improve their reproductive health outcomes.

Keywords: Medication use, Self-medication, Prescription, Pregnancy
Publisher: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya
ISSN: 2411-6386