Background: Using the claims database of the State Health Foundation from 2017, the prevalence and safety of prescription medicines given to pregnant women in Suriname (South America) have been determined.
Methods: Prescription rates and proportions of the total number of prescriptions were calculated, overall and stratified for subgroups of age, region of residence, As well as major Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical and safety classification (Australian categorization system). Data were compared with the ?2 -test and the two samples test of proportions using normal theory method; p-values <0.01 were considered statistically significant differences.
Results: Average prescription rates (number of prescriptions by number of patients) were 24.0, 29.7, and 32.5 in age groups 15-29, 30-44, and 45+ years, respectively (p<0.001), and 26.4, 23.0, and 14.0 in the urban-coastal, ruralcoastal, and rural-interior region, respectively (p<0.001). The use of prescription medicines was common (rates up to 40.4), ranged from antibiotics to vitamins, and most were safe. However, 3.2% (some antibiotics and antiepileptics) belonged to safety category D, carrying a definite human fetal risk. However, the potential benefits of these drugs warranted their use in pregnant women.
Conclusion: These findings are largely in line with literature data, although future studies must verify their generalizability to the total Surinamese population.
Published Date: 2021-09-20; Received Date: 2021-08-20