Self-medication as a global challenge for mother and baby is a potential threat and it is common not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Various factors affect drug use. This study aimed to determine the rate of practicing self-medication and its related factors in pregnant women.
This cross-sectional study was conducted on 598 pregnant women referring to Al-Zahra Teaching Hospital and comprehensive health centers located in Rasht, Iran. The subjects were selected using random sampling method. The data were collected by a self-structured questionnaire on self-medication and analyzed using chi square test, logistic regression. Furthermore, a logistic regression model was applied to determine the factors associated with the rate of self-medication.
Practice of self-medication during pregnancy was reported by 8.7% of the mothers. The most commonly used medications were analgesics (50.9%), herbal medicines (24.5%), and cold/ flu medications (17%). The most common causes of self-medication among mothers included availability of medications (67.9%), previous use (60.4%), and treatments (47.2%). The majority of participants had an arbitrary use due to headache (34%), common cold (22.6%), and digestive diseases (22.6%). Also, 86.1% of the mothers had a moderate level of awareness about self-medication, which had no significant relationship with self-medication (P=0.872). The spousal age (OR=0.931, 95% CI=0.87-0.98; P=0.02), gravidity (OR=1.34, 95% CI=1.03-1.74; P=0.028), comorbid diseases, (OR=2.36, 95% CI=1.29-4.32; P=0.005), and uncertainty about the effect of drugs (OR=0.189, 95% CI=0.04-0.805; P=0.024) were found to be the predictors of self-medication.
As the findings indicated,the arbitrary use of medications during pregnancy increased with age and gravidity. Therefore, it is recommended that the Ministry of Health consider policies for the education and provision of the necessary information in this regard for the target population.
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