Drug use in pregnancy: an overview of epidemiological (drug utilization) studies

M. Bonati, R. Bortolus, F. Marchetti, M. Romero, G. Tognoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for further information on drug utilization patterns during pregnancy in different countries was assessed by reviewing literature obtained by hand and computer searches for the years 1960-1988. The 13 identified studies showed that pregnant women used an average of 4.7 drugs. The most commonly ingested medications were vitamins and iron preparations (almost all women), analgesics, antiemetics and antacids. However, the important variables taken into account differently in each study, such as date of surveillance, country, size of population, personal habits, and physiopathological and demographic characteristics, may it impossible to construct a comprehensive, detailed, up-to-date picture of drug utilization during pregnancy. The evaluation confirmed the need for systematic permanent surveillance of drug utilization in pregnancy, so as to avoid the use of data based on widely differing contexts, times and methods, in a field where knowledge is often derived from scanty information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-328
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1990


  • drug utilization
  • pregnancy
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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