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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 257597, 11 pages
Research Article

Use of Medicines with Unknown Fetal Risk among Parturient Women from the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Brazil)

1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Rua Marechal Deodoro, 1160, 3 Piso, 96020-220 Pelotas, RS, Brazil
2Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2400, 2 Andar, 90035-003 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
3Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, Rua Sarmento Leite, 245, 90050-170, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 8 September 2012; Revised 25 November 2012; Accepted 26 November 2012

Academic Editor: Riitta Luoto

Copyright © 2012 Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. To estimate the exposure to medicines with unknown fetal risk during pregnancy and to analyze the maternal characteristics associated with it. Methods. A questionnaire was administered to 4,189 mothers of children belonging to the 2004 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study about use of any medicine during gestation. We evaluated the associations between use of medicines with unknown fetal risk and the independent variables through logistic regression models. Unknown fetal risk was defined as medicines in which studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the fetus, and no controlled studies in women, or studies in women and animals, are available. Results. Out of the 4,189 women, 52.5% used at least one medicine from unknown fetal risk. Use of these medicines was associated with white skin color, high schooling, high income, six or more antenatal care consultations, hospital admission during pregnancy, and morbidity during gestation. Conclusion. The use of unknown fetal risk medicines is high, suggesting that their use must be addressed with caution with the aim of restricting their use to cases in which the benefits are greater than the potential risks.