[Quebec Pregnancy Cohort: prevalence of medication use during gestation and pregnancy outcomes]

Therapie. 2014 Jan-Feb;69(1):71-81. doi: 10.2515/therapie/2014011. Epub 2014 Apr 4.
[Article in French]


Objective: Many women are exposed to medications during pregnancy. The Quebec Pregnancy Cohort (QPC) is a prospective population-based cohort which includes all data on pregnancies and children between January 1997 and December 2008.

Methods: We linked four administrative databases in Quebec, Canada: RAMQ (medical and pharmaceutical), MED-ECHO (hospitalizations), ISQ (births/deaths), and MELS (Ministry of Education). Pregnancies included were covered by the Quebec prescription drug insurance plan (36% of women aged 15-45 years) from 12 months prior until the end of pregnancy.

Results: We analyzed 97,680 pregnancies. Prevalence of medication use was 74% pre-pregnancy, 56% during pregnancy, and 80% post-pregnancy. Most frequently used medications during pregnancy were antibiotics (47%), antiemetic drugs (23%), and non-steroïdal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [17%]. Medication users were more likely to have spontaneous abortions, preterm births, children with congenital malformations and postpartum depression than non-users (p<0.01).

Conclusion: Medications are commonly used during pregnancy. The QPC is a powerful tool for perinatal pharmacoepidemiological research.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations