Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the medications that are consumed by a rural obstetric population during pregnancy.
Study design: Over a period of 26 months, pregnant women were interviewed about medication use. Interviews on subsequent visits provided a longitudinal study of medication usage and discontinuation. Trend differences were analyzed according to the number of medications, the trimester of use, and insurance status.
Results: Five hundred seventy-eight participants had 2086 interviews. The compilation of the interviews showed that 95.8% of the participants took prescription medications, 92.6% of the participants self-medicated with over-the-counter medications, and 45.2% of the participants used herbal medications. Over time, consumption of over-the-counter medications exceeded prescription medication use. Fifteen percent of the pregnant women took ibuprofen at some point during the pregnancy (5.7% in the third trimester). Eight percent of the women were noncompliant and 20% incompletely compliant with prenatal vitamin and mineral formulations.
Conclusion: Medication use was substantial in this population. Medications (eg, ibuprofen) that are contraindicated in pregnancy were used at unexpectedly high rates. Of the three medication classes, over-the-counter medications were used most frequently.