International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 634–641 | Cite as

Medication use during pregnancy in Omani women

  • Intisar M. Al-Riyami
  • Intisar Q. Al-BusaidyEmail author
  • Ibrahim S. Al-Zakwani
Research Article


Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate medication use pattern in a university tertiary hospital in the Sultanate of Oman. Setting The study was conducted at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) and the SQUH Family and Community Medicine clinic (FAMCO), Muscat, Sultanate of Oman during 7th to 25th June 2008. Method The medication use pattern was evaluated in women attending FAMCO and the standard antenatal clinics at the hospital. Women were interviewed in different gestational ages using a structured questionnaire. The Electronic Patient Record (EPR) was reviewed to acquire additional information on medication use. Medications were classified according to the US FDA risk classification. Main outcome measure Medication used including prescribed medications, OTC medications, or herbal treatment during the current pregnancy and 3 months prior to conception. Results The study included a total of 139 pregnant mothers with an overall mean age of 28 ± 5 years ranging from 19 to 45 years. There was a slight overall reduction in the medication use including prescribed medications. However, there was a significant increase in utilization of vitamins and supplements (84–95% vs. 12% in the 3-months prior, P < 0.001) as well as herbal preparations (16–19% vs. 7% in the 3-months prior, P = 0.011) throughout pregnancy (P < 0.010). The use of category A medications increased in all trimester (43–52% vs. 13% in the 3 months prior, P < 0.010) while a reduction in the use of category C (for first and third trimester, P < 0.050) and D medications was seen. A reduction in the use of teratogenic drugs in all trimesters (P < 0.010) was also observed. Conclusion The prescribing of vitamins and minerals was optimal. However, the common use of herbal supplements observed warrants special attention due to their unknown risks. The conclusions should be interpreted in light of the study’s limitations


FDA pregnancy risk category Medication Oman Pregnancy 



We would like to thank the women who participated in the study, to the Pharmacy and the Obstetric/Gynecology departments who provided their support to this study.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors

Conflicts of interest

None declared.


  1. 1.
    Kacew S. Fetal consequences and risks attributed to the use of prescribed and over-the-counter (OTC) preparations during pregnancy. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1994;32(7):335–43.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Koren G, Pastuszak A, Ito S. Drugs in pregnancy. N Engl J Med. 1998;338(16):1128–37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berglund F, Flodh H, Lundborg P, Prame B, Sannerstedt R. Drug use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. A classification system for drug information. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand Suppl. 1984;126:1–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Australian Drug Evaluation Committee. Prescribing medicines in pregnancy. 4th ed. Woden, Australia: Aust Gov Pub Unit; 1999.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Food and Drug Administration. Requirements on content and format of labeling for human prescription drug and biological products. Fed Regist. 2006;71:3921–97.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lee E, Maneno MK, Smith L, Weiss SR, Zuckerman IH, Wutoh AK, Xue Z. National patterns of medication use during pregnancy. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2006;15(8):537–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Henry A, Crowther C. Patterns of medication use during and prior to pregnancy: the MAP study. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2000;40(2):165–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Headley J, Northstone K, Simmons H, Golding J, the ALSPAC Study Team. Medication use during pregnancy: data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2004;60:355–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lacroix I, Damase-Michel C, Lapeyre-Mestre M, Montastruc JL. Prescription of drugs during pregnancy in France. Lancet. 2000;356:1735–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Olesen C, Sorensen HT, den Berg L, Olsen J, Steffensen FH, the Euromap Group. Prescribing during pregnancy and lactation with reference to the Swedish classification system: a population-based study among Danish women. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1999;78:686–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rohra DK, Das N, Azam SI, Solangi NA, Memon Z, Shaikh AM, Khan NH. Drug prescribing patterns during pregnancy in the tertiary care hospitals of Pakistan: a cross sectional study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2008;8:24.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sharma R, Kapoor B, Verma U. Drug utilization pattern during pregnancy in North India. Indian J Med Sci. 2006;60:277–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Al-Humayyd MS, Babay ZH. Pattern of drug prescribing during pregnancy in Saudi women: a retrospective study. Saudi Pharm J. 2006;14(3,4):201–7.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lexi-Drugs Online [database on the Internet]. Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp, Inc.; 2008 [cited 30 July 2008]. Available from: Subscription required to view.
  15. 15.
    Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Summer JY. Drugs in pregnancy and lactation. 6th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 2002.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    StataCorp. Stata: Release 11.1. Statistical Software. College Station, TX: StataCorp LP; 2010.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tilley BC, Barnes AB, Bergstralh E, Labarthe D, Noller KL, Colton T, Adam E. A comparison of pregnancy history recall and medical records. Implications for retrospective studies. Am J Epidemiol. 1985;121(2):269–81.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rockenbauer M, Olsen J, Czeizel AE, Pedersen L, Sřensen HT, the EuroMAP Group. Recall bias in a casecontrol surveillance system on the use of medicine during pregnancy. Epidemiology. 2001;12:461–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Bryant HE, Visser N, Love EL. Records, recall loss, and recall bias in pregnancy: a comparison of interview and medical records data of pregnant and postnatal women. Am J Public Health. 1989;79:78–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mitchell AA, Cottler LB, Shapiro S. Effect of questionnaire design on recall of drug exposure in pregnancy. Am J Epidemiol. 1986;123:670–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Forfar JO, Nelson MM. Epidemiology of drugs taken by pregnant women: drugs that may affect the fetus adversely. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1973;14:632–42.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hassan AS, Al-Kharusi BM. Knowledge and use of folic acid among pregnant Arabian women residing in Qatar and Oman. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2008;59(1):70–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Andrade SE, Gurwitz JH, Davis RL, et al. Prescription drug use in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004;191:398.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Forster DA, Denning A, Wills G, Bolger M, McCarthy E. Herbal medicine use during pregnancy in a group of Australian women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2006;6:21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Byrne MJ, Semple SJ, Coulthard KP. Complementary medicine use during pregnancy. Interviews with 48 women in a hospital antenatal ward. Aust Pharmacist. 2002;21:954–9.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hepner DL, Harnett M, Segal S, Camann W, Bader A, Tsen L. Herbal use in parturients. Anesth Analg. 2002;94:690–3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hollyer T, Boon H, Georgousis A, Smith M, Einarson A. The use of CAM by women suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2002;2(1):5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Intisar M. Al-Riyami
    • 1
  • Intisar Q. Al-Busaidy
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ibrahim S. Al-Zakwani
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Pharmacy DepartmentSultan Qaboos University HospitalMuscatOman
  2. 2.Medicine Information Services, Pharmacy Department, Sultan Qaboos University HospitalSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacy, College of Medicine & Health SciencesSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  4. 4.Gulf Health ResearchMuscatOman

Personalised recommendations