This study aimed to characterize the profile of medication consumption by low risk pregnant women and to correlate it with sociodemographic characteristics of this population. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in the Reference Center of Women's Health in the Brazilian municipality of Ribeirão Preto. This study included women which were at least in the 32nd week of the gestation period. Data related to sociodemographic characteristics of the pregnant women and to their pregnancy and medication consumption were collected from June, 2008 to November, 2008. A total of 699 pregnant women were included. About 20% of the pregnant women began prenatal care in the 12th week of gestation and 75.3% had at least six antenatal visits. The use of at least one drug during pregnancy was reported by 98% of the participants. The mean number of medications used was 4.35. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) risk classification, 14.07% of the medication belonged to C category, 1.85% to D and 0.03% to X, and 38.30% were not identified or not classified by the FDA. When correlating the number of prenatal visits with the amount of medication used, it was verified that pregnant women who underwent less than six visits during pregnancy used a higher number of medications. Pregnant women have been exposed to a variety of medications and there is a need to improve the quality of care in order to prevent potential risks to the fetus, especially in relation to the use of medications.
Key words: Drug utilization, fetus, pregnant women, prenatal care.
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