Prescription drugs use during pregnancy in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.SAGE Open Med. 2020; 8:2050312120935471.SO
The selection of safe drugs for pregnant women in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, where there are limited options of drugs would be challenging. Hence, the aim of this review was to determine the extent of prescribed drugs use and their potential to cause fetal harm among pregnant women in Ethiopia based on the United States Food and Drug Administration risk category.
Relevant studies were identified through systematic searches conducted in PubMed, HINARI, Google Scholar and Researchgate. Data on study characteristics and outcomes were extracted using the format developed in Microsoft Excel. The primary measure was pooled prevalence of prescription drugs use during pregnancy. The I2 index was used to assess heterogeneity among studies. The presence of publication bias across studies was evaluated using funnel plot. A random effects model was used to estimate the pooled prevalence.
A total of nine studies published between 2013 and 2019 were included. The pooled prevalence of prescription drugs during pregnancy, excluding minerals and vitamins, was 45.9 (95%CI: 29.3, 62.5)%. The pooled prevalence of prescription drug use, including minerals and vitamins, was 86.9 (95%CI: 81.2, 92.6)%. The pooled proportion of medications used based on the United States Food and Drug Administration risk category was 56.1 (95%CI: 43.0, 68.4)%, 29.0 (95%CI: 27.9, 30.1)%, 12.1 (95%CI: 7.9, 18.1)%, 4.1 (95%CI: 3.6, 4.6)%, and 2.5 (95%CI: 1.8, 3.6)% for the United States Food and Drug Administration fetal risk category "A," "B," "C," "D," and "X," respectively.
The use of prescription drugs during pregnancy, excluding supplements, in Ethiopia was high. Drugs with evidence of fetal harm were widely used. Hence, health care providers should select relatively safe drugs. Stakeholders should ensure safe prescribing practice for pregnant women through developing guidelines and updating professionals on the fetal risk status of commonly prescribed drugs.