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Patterns and predictors of self-medication amongst antenatal clients in Ibadan, Nigeria

Nigerian Medical Journal
Publication Date
DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.86124
  • Original Article
  • Education
  • Medicine


Background: Self-medication is widely practiced in the study area, as many drugs are available over-the-counter, in addition to the use of local herbal preparations. Also, apprehension about the dangers of drug use in pregnancy appears to affect the compliance of prescribed medication. This study assess the drug use profile of an antenatal population. Materials and Methods: This was a questionnaire-based descriptive study of 410 antenatal clients attending primary, secondary and tertiary centers in Ibadan, Nigeria. The variables analysed were demographic data of respondents and level of health care received. Outcome measures were use of prescribed drugs, self-medication or herbal preparations. Chi-tests and logistic regression were used for statistical analysis. Results: All patients on prescribed medication for medical conditions claimed to be compliant with their drugs. Exactly 19.2% admitted to self-medication, mostly hematinics and pain-relieving pills (acetaminophen). No one admitted to alcohol or tobacco use, but 46.3%, especially attendees of the rural center (OR 5.79; 95% CI 2.56-13.10), ingested herbal concoctions while pregnant. Married women (OR 0.2; 95% CI 0.05-0.75) or those whose spouses had higher education (OR 0.43; 95% CI 0.21-0.89) were less likely to practice self-medication, while hypertensive women were more likely to practice it (OR 22.54; 95% CI 3.81-133.49). Conclusions: Social support has a role in safe drug use practices. This should be used to advantage by encouraging partners’ attendance at antenatal sessions. Patients need counseling on the dangers of procuring their usual prescription drugs without consultation. Use of herbal concoctions needs to be explored in the community.

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