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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 124-129

A comparison of the frequency, risk factors, and type of self-medication in pregnant and nonpregnant women presenting to Shahid Akbar Abadi Teaching Hospital in Tehran

1 Department of Midwifery, University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Biology, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Malihe Botyar
Department of Midwifery, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_227_17

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Background: Self-medication is a serious health problem that leads to an increased per capita consumption of medications, drug resistance, lack of optimal treatment, drug poisoning, and other unwanted complications. This study was conducted to compare self-medication in pregnant and nonpregnant women presenting to Shahid Akbar Abadi Teaching Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Materials and Methods: To conduct this cross-sectional study, 210 pregnant women and 210 nonpregnant women aged 15–45 years presenting to Shahid Akbar Abadi Teaching Hospital, Tehran, Iran, were selected through random sampling. Data were collected through interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire. The Chi-square test, t-test, and logistic regression model were used to analyze the data. Results: The prevalence of self-medication was 34.8% in the pregnant and 77.1% in the nonpregnant women. The age group in which the most frequent instances of self-medication were observed (53.4%) was the 21–30 age group in the pregnant women and the 31–40 age group (44.4%) in the nonpregnant women, suggesting a statistically significant intergroup difference in terms of age (P = 0.0001). Medicinal plants were the most common medications used by the pregnant women (19.6%) and synthetic medications were the most common used by the nonpregnant women (38.1%). The reasons for using medications without a prescription included believing in the illness being mild (22.8%), not having health insurance (9%), easy access in the pregnant women, a previous history of the illness, and easy access in the nonpregnant women. Conclusions: As medicinal plants are the most common medications used by pregnant women and since assessing the risk of herbal substances is difficult, pregnant women should be advised against the arbitrary use of these substances.

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