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Open AccessArticle

Drug Use before and during Pregnancy in Japan: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Miyagi 9808574, Japan
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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University Hospital, Miyagi 9808574, Japan
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Environment and Genome Research Center, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Miyagi 9808575, Japan
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Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University, Miyagi 9808575, Japan
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Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University School of Medicine, Miyagi 9818558, Japan
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International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, Miyagi 9808575, Japan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jeffrey Atkinson
Pharmacy 2017, 5(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy5020021
Received: 20 October 2016 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
Purpose: To elucidate drug use before and during pregnancy in Japan. Methods: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS) is an ongoing nationwide birth cohort study. We analyzed data from JECS involving cases where drugs were used for 12 months before pregnancy was diagnosed, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy. Results: We analyzed data from 97,464 pregnant women. The percentages of pregnant women who had taken one or more drugs and supplements before diagnosis of pregnancy, between the time of diagnosis of pregnancy until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy, were 78.4%, 57.1%, and 68.8% respectively. Excluding iron supplements, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals, the percentages of women taking supplements were 75.3%, 36.0%, and 51.7% at each respective time point. The following drugs and supplements were frequently used for 12 months before pregnancy diagnosis: Commercially available antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common cold (34.7%), antipyretics, analgesics, and/or medicine for treating common colds, which were prescribed in hospitals (29.8%), antimicrobial drugs (14.0%), and anti-allergy drugs (12.5%). The following drugs and supplements were frequently used from the time of pregnancy diagnosis until week 12 of pregnancy, and after week 12 of pregnancy: folic acid (28.9% and 26.2%), antipyretics, analgesics and/or medicines for treating common cold, that were prescribed in hospitals (7.8% and 13.3%), Chinese herbal medicines (6.0% and 9.4%, and uterine relaxants (5.1% and 15.2%). Conclusions: The analysis of a nationwide cohort study showed that a high percentage of Japanese pregnant women were taking medicinal drugs. Further research is required to elucidate the relationship between drug use during pregnancy and birth defects in Japan. View Full-Text
Keywords: pregnancy; medication use; supplement use pregnancy; medication use; supplement use
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Nishigori, H.; Obara, T.; Nishigori, T.; Metoki, H.; Ishikuro, M.; Mizuno, S.; Sakurai, K.; Tatsuta, N.; Nishijima, I.; Fujiwara, I.; Arima, T.; Nakai, K.; Mano, N.; Kuriyama, S.; Yaegashi, N.; Japan Environment & Children’s Study Group. Drug Use before and during Pregnancy in Japan: The Japan Environment and Children’s Study. Pharmacy 2017, 5, 21.

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