Self-Medication: potential risks and hazards among pregnant women in Uyo, Nigeria.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
The Pan African medical journal 01/2012; 13:15.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is increasing evidence that self-medications among pregnant women are common in many developing countries. Despite the adverse impact on pregnancy, there are few programs available for their control. The objective of this study was to assess the level of self-medication amongst Nigerian pregnant women in order to determine possible harmful effects on fetus.
Five hundred and eighteen 518 pregnant women, aged between 18 and 40 years, drawn from three General hospitals in Akwa Ibom State were assessed for self-medication and substance abuse using an instrument, adapted from a modified form of 117-item self-report questionnaire based on the WHO guidelines for students' substance use survey.
Of the 518 pregnant women assessed, 375 (72.4%) indulged in one form of self-medication or the other; 143 (27.6%) used only drugs prescribed from the antenatal clinic. A total of 157 (41.9%) pregnant women self-medicate fever/pain relievers; 47 (9.1%) mixture of herbs and other drugs; 15 (4.0%) sedatives; 13 (3.5%) alcohol; while 5 (1.3%) used kolanuts. Reasons for using these substances range from protection from witches and witchcrafts, preventing pregnancy from coming out, for blood; poor sleep, fever and vomiting and infections. There was a significant difference in the rate of using analgesics (X2=9.43, p=0.001); and antibiotic (X2=4.43, p=0.001) among pregnant women who were highly educated compared to those with little or no education. However, the level of education has no impact in the usage of native herbs.
This study shows that self-medication is common among pregnant women in our environment. There is need for adequate education of pregnant women during antenatal clinics on the potential danger of self-medication so as to prevent child and maternal morbidity and mortality.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: There is evidence that self-medication practices among dental patients with toothache are common, and despite the adverse clinical consequences, there is paucity of literature on it, and only few programmes are available for its control. Aim: To assess the self-medication practices among adult dental patients suffering from toothache. Patients and methods: An instrument adapted from modified form of 117-item self-report questionnaire based on WHO guidelines for students’ substance use survey and open-ended questionnaire was administered to adult patients attending the Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinic of this health institution for a period of six months. Results: The results show that 80.6% (287/356) subjects indulged in self-medication practices. Majority of the patients 42.9% (123/287) were in the 2nd-4th decades of life, whereas the male: female ratio was 1.3: 1. The most commonly abused medications/substance were analgesics/NSAID (243/287; 24.5%), antibiotics (233/287; 23.5%), “Touch and Go” (187/287; 18.8%). The practice of self-medication cut across all social strata, p<0.01(significant) and only 3.8% (11/287) subjects admitted knowledge of the dosage and side effects of the used medications/substances. The toothache not being serious initially (112/287; 22.5%) and time constraints to attend dental clinic (93/287; 18.7%) were the major reasons for self-medication. Conclusion: This study suggests that the practice of self-medication is common among adult dental patients with toothache in Nigeria. This should be reduced to the barest minimum by dental health education, upgrading of dental health facilities, and enforcement of drug control mechanisms. Keywords: Dental patients, Toothache, Self-medication, Nigeria.
    Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research. 11/2014; 4(6):884-888.
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    ABSTRACT: Background The prevalence of general alcohol use in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is high. However, research examining alcohol use in among pregnant women within this population is limited. A review of the current status of research examining the prevalence of alcohol exposed pregnancies (AEP) is required to inform future research aiming to decrease this occurrence and its subsequent socio-economic complications.Objective The primary objective was to identify all published papers estimating prevalence and risk-factors of alcohol use among pregnant women in SSA. A secondary objective was to determine changes in alcohol use following pregnancy recognition.Methods PubMed/Medline, Embase, IPA, CINAHL were systematically searched using MeSH terms and keywords from inception date to March 2013. Studies from SSA reporting prevalence of alcohol use among pregnant women were included.ResultsTwelve studies were identified. Studies varied significantly according to design and study population. Prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy ranged from 2.2%-87%. The most important risk-factors for alcohol use included tobacco use, partner violence, urban living, and having a male partner who drank alcohol. Only three studies examined changes in alcohol use prior to and following pregnancy recognition with absolute reductions of between 9% and 15%.Conclusions Although the burden of alcohol use during pregnancy is likely a significant problem, limited data currently exist for the majority of SSA countries. Furthermore, significant variation likely exists within various populations. Further research is required to explore alcohol use in pregnancy. Strategies to decrease AEP must be developed and implemented in standard pre-natal care.
    The Canadian journal of clinical pharmacology = Journal canadien de pharmacologie clinique 01/2013; 20(3):e321-33.
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    ABSTRACT: Background The World Health Organisation has designed a pregnancy registry to investigate the effect of maternal drug use on pregnancy outcomes in resource-limited settings. In this sentinel surveillance system, detailed health and drug use data are prospectively collected from the first antenatal clinic visit until delivery. Over and above other clinical records, the registry relies on accurate participant reports about the drugs they use. Qualitative methods were incorporated into a pilot registry study during 2010 and 2011 to examine barriers to women reporting these drugs and other exposures at antenatal clinics, and how they might be overcome.Methods Twenty-seven focus group discussions were conducted in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda with a total of 208 women either enrolled in the registry or from its source communities. A question guide was designed to uncover the types of exposure data under- or inaccurately reported at antenatal clinics, the underlying reasons, and how women prefer to be asked questions. Transcripts were analysed thematically.ResultsWomen said it was important for them to report everything they had used during pregnancy. However, they expressed reservations about revealing their consumption of traditional, over-the-counter medicines and alcohol to antenatal staff because of anticipated negative reactions. Some enrolled participants' improved relationship with registry staff facilitated information sharing and the registry tools helped overcome problems with recall and naming of medicines. Decisions about where women sought care, which influenced medicines used and antenatal clinic attendance, were influenced by pressure within and outside of the formal healthcare system to conform to conflicting behaviours. Conversations also reflected women's responsibilities for producing a healthy baby.Conclusions Women in this study commonly take traditional medicines in pregnancy, and to a lesser extent over-the-counter medicines and alcohol. The World Health Organisation pregnancy registry shows potential to enhance their reporting of these substances at the antenatal clinic. However, more work is needed to find optimal techniques for eliciting accurate reports, especially where the detail of constituents may never be known. It will also be important to find ways of sustaining such drug exposure surveillance systems in busy antenatal clinics.
    BMC Health Services Research 10/2014; 14(1):525. · 1.66 Impact Factor

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