Pregnancy Introduction

Although the ideal situation during pregnancy is abstinence from the use of pharmacologic agents, many women use prescription or over-the-counter drugs during pregnancy. Several studies have shown that pregnant women do use prescribed or over-the-counter drugs during pregnancy [3-5]. A survey of approximately 20,000 women over a 25-year period (1976-2000) demonstrated that drug (excluding vitamins and minerals) use in pregnancy is increasing [6]. The mean number of drugs women reported using during pregnancy over this 25-year period has increased from 1.7 to 2.9. Over 80% of all women reported using any drug during pregnancy, and approximately 30% reported using>four drugs. In addition, of the top 10 reported drugs used, six were over-the-counter (OTC) products. In Europe a comparison of therapeutic drug use during pregnancy showed that 64% of women used at least one drug during pregnancy [4]. In France, pregnant women were prescribed an average of five drugs during the first trimester [5].

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