Prescription drug use during pregnancy in developed countries: a systematic review


Related Publications

Smolina K, Weymann D, Morgan S, Ross C, Carleton B. Association between regulatory advisories and codeine prescribing to postpartum women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2015;313(18):1861-2.
Suter E, Misfeldt R, Mallinson S, Wilhelm A, Boakye O, Marchildon G, et al. Comparative Review of the Policy Landscape of Team-based Primary Health Care Service Delivery in Western Canada. Alberta Health Services; 2014.
Laberge M, Pang J, Walker K, Wong ST, Hogg W, Wodchis WP. QUALICOPC (Quality and Costs of Primary Care) Canada: A focus on the aspects of primary care most highly rated by current patients of primary care practices. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement; 2014.
McGregor MJ, Abu-Laban RB, Ronald L, McGrail KM, Andrusiek D, Baumbusch J, et al. Nursing Home Characteristics Associated with Resident Transfers to Emergency Department. Canadian Journal on Aging. 2012;33(1):38-48.

Publication Topics

Prescription drug use during pregnancy in developed countries: a systematic review

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsDaw JR, Hanley GE, Greyson DL, Morgan SG
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Pages895 - 902
Date Published2011
KeywordsDeveloped Countries, Drug Utilization, Female, Humans, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications/drug therapy, Prescription Drugs/administration & dosage
AbstractPURPOSE: To review the literature describing patterns of outpatient prescription drug use during pregnancy by therapeutic category, potential for fetal harm, and overall. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature published from 1989 to 2010. We included studies evaluating individual-level exposures to prescription medicines during pregnancy. We selected only studies conducted in developed (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) countries and published in English. RESULTS: Published drug utilization studies reveal wide variation in estimates of overall prescription drug use in pregnancy (27-93% of pregnant women filling at least one prescription excluding vitamins and minerals). Among studies of similar design, estimates were lowest in Northern European countries (44-47%) and highest in France (93%) and Germany (85%). Measured rates of use of contraindicated medicines in pregnancy ranged from 0.9% (Denmark, 1991-1996) to 4.6% (USA, 1996-2000). The use of medicines with positive evidence of risk ranged from 2.0% (Italy, 2004) to 59.3% (France, 1996). CONCLUSION: Avoidable inconsistencies in study design and reporting attenuate conclusions that can be drawn from the literature on antenatal drug utilization. Nevertheless, the body of published research shows that antenatal prescription drug use is common, with many studies finding that a majority of women use one or more prescription medicine during pregnancy. Similarly, studies consistently report the use of drugs recognized as having potential risks in pregnancy. Given this widespread use, it is particularly important to develop standards for calculating and reporting antenatal exposures to improve the value of future research in this area.
Citation Key302