International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 408–416 | Cite as

Predictors of the use of medications before and during pregnancy

  • Marina Odalovic
  • Sandra Vezmar Kovacevic
  • Hedvig Nordeng
  • Katarina Ilic
  • Ana Sabo
  • Ljiljana TasicEmail author
Research Article


Background Drug use in pregnancy is often reason of concern for mothers and their physicians. However, only few studies investigated predictors of drug use in pregnancy. Objectives To examine maternal characteristics as predictors of medication use in the 6 months before pregnancy and during the first 6 months of pregnancy. To examine whether prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication use in the 6 months before pregnancy had an impact on medication use in pregnancy. Setting Six maternity care units and five community pharmacies. Method Data were collected using a specially designed self-reported questionnaire during the period March 2009–March 2010. Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with medication use. Main outcome measure Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were used as association measures. Results A total of 236 women were included in the analysis. After controlling for maternal characteristics, parity of more than one was associated with lower prescription medication use in pregnancy (aOR 0.46; 95 % CI 0.22–0.93), higher household income with higher OTC medication use before pregnancy (aOR 3.13; 95 % CI 1.22–8.00), and miscarriage with higher C and D Food and Drug Administration (FDA) risk category medication use in pregnancy (aOR 3.65; 95 % CI 1.30–10.25). Prescription medication use before pregnancy was associated with higher prescription medication use in pregnancy (aOR 2.49; 95 % CI 1.12–5.52), OTC medication use before pregnancy with higher OTC medication use in pregnancy (aOR 35.95; 95 % CI 7.95–162.49), and C and D FDA risk category medication use before pregnancy with the same category medication use in pregnancy (aOR 3.54; 95 % CI 1.23–10.17). Conclusion Different maternal characteristics were shown as predictors of medication use before and during pregnancy. However, medication use before pregnancy was shown as the most important predicting factor for the medication use in pregnancy.


Maternal health Medication use Pregnancy Serbia Socio-economic factors 



We are very grateful to the Associate Professor Natasa Bogavac Stanojevic, Department of Biochemistry, The University of Belgrade-Faculty of Pharmacy for her useful comments in the statistical analysis, and to Mrs. Zorica Bogdanovic for editing of the English.


This work is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Serbia, Project No. 41012, and Project No. 175064, 2011–2014.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Odalovic
    • 1
  • Sandra Vezmar Kovacevic
    • 2
  • Hedvig Nordeng
    • 3
  • Katarina Ilic
    • 4
  • Ana Sabo
    • 5
  • Ljiljana Tasic
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Social Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Legislation, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacokinetics and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy University of OsloOsloNorway
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  5. 5.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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