Pharmacological Exposure of Pregnant Mothers in Ilorin, Nigeria

  • AP Aboyeji
  • MA Ijaiya
  • AA Fawole
  • KT Adesina
  • MO Ologe
  • AA Adewara
  • AO Olarinoye


Context: Use of drug during pregnancy is a universal event. However, in developing countries, drug use is poorly controlled as most of the drugs could be obtained without prescription. This constitutes potential hazard both for the mother and the fetus.
Objective: To determine the pattern of drug use (including alcohol and smoking) prescription and non prescription of drug by pregnant mothers in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Study Design: A cross sectional study of pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin.
Result: Four hundred 400 pregnant women participated in the study, 335 adequately completed questionnaire for data analysis. Majority of the respondents 273 (81.5%) had taken one or more drugs, 62 (18.5%) had not used any. Average number of drugs used was 2.7. Routine haematinics (folic acid and Ferrous Sulphate) are the common drug taken by 241 (81.5%) of the respondents. Anti malarial drugs were taken by 47 (14%) while herbal drug was taken by 41 (12.2%). Five (1.5%) of the respondents admitted to taking alcohol and only one woman (0.3%) admitted to smoking cigarette. One (0.3%) each of the respondents was on anti depressant and anticonvulsant drugs. Occupation was significantly related to herbal use. Parity was also significantly related to alcohol consumption and the use of unprescribed drugs.
Conclusion: Drug use is common during pregnancy. Haematinics were the commonest drug used. Herbs are used to some extent and antimalarials are underutilized. Alcohol is minimally used and smoking during pregnancy is virtually non- existent. There is need to caution our pregnant mothers on the use of herbs as there is no full understanding of their pharmacokinetics.

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