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.
© 2014 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.