Health care providers' use of a drug information service for pregnancy-related inquiries.
OBJECTIVES: To characterize pregnancy and lactation-related medication inquiries to a drug information center to identify classes of medications of most concern to providers. A secondary objective was to identify any trends in provider inquiries over the study period. DESIGN: A retrospective descriptive study of pregnancy and lactation-related inquiries to the University of North Carolina Health Care System Drug Information Center database between January 2001 and December 2010. SETTING: University of North Carolina Health Care System Drug Information Center. INTERVENTION: Provider inquiries and responses were extracted and characterized by indication for treatment and reason for inquiry. Comparison of the first and second 5-year periods was performed to delineate trends. Descriptive statistics, Fisher's Exact and χ2 tests were used for analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Inquiry origin, time, and subject. RESULTS: 433 inquiries were retrieved over the study period from physicians (50%), pharmacists (21%), and nurses (18%). Inquiries were most often made during the antepartum period (34%), followed by the postpartum (28%) and preconception (22%) periods. The most frequent indications for inquiry were psychiatry (15%) and infectious diseases (14%), which remained constant throughout the study period. Safety was the most common reason for inquiry (52%). The responses provided to callers were limited due to lack of information availability 37% of the time. CONCLUSION: Psychiatry and infectious disease-related indications are the most frequent subjects of provider inquiry regarding medication use in pregnancy. Rates of inquiry remained constant throughout the past decade in most therapeutic areas. These findings are consistent with previous observations in other developed countries and suggest high-yield areas for pharmacist education.
Patil, AS; Patil, NP; Lewis, AN; Swamy, GK; Murtha, AP
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