Antibiotics and over the counter medication use and its correlates among Arab pregnant women visitinga tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hafsa Raheel, Sulaiman Alsakran, Abdulkhaliq Alghamdi, Majed Ajarem, Salman Alsulami, Afzal Mahmood


Background and Objective: The use of over the counter medications (OTCMs) is a common practice globally. OTCMs are of special concern among pregnant women as they pose risk to the mother and fetus. The objective was to assess the use of OTCMs by pregnant woman, and factors associated with it.

Methods: A cross-sectional study, using a structured self-administrated questionnaire was conducted at the obstetric and antenatal clinics at King Khalid University hospital, Riyadh. 354 pregnant women were surveyed.

Result: About 32% of the study participants used OTCMs without prescription at least once during their last pregnancy. The most commonly used OTCM was Paracetamol (22%). Pharmacists were the main source of knowledge (53%) for the participants. Correct knowledge regarding the drugs was associated with the usage of OTCM drug.

Conclusion: Use of OTCMs and antibiotics during pregnancy is a common practice among Saudi pregnant women. General awareness regarding OTCMs use during pregnancy without prescription needs to be raised in the community. Pharmacists and media can help in providing accurate knowledge.


How to cite this:Raheel H, Alsakran S, Alghamdi A, Ajarem M, Alsulami S, Mahmood A. Antibiotics and over the counter medication use and its correlates among Arab pregnant women visiting a tertiary care hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(2):452-456.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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