Attitudes and Practices of Community Pharmacists toward the Risk of Medication Use by Pregnant Women: A Cross-Sectional Study in the Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia

Bushra Fahad Alkhalifah, Renad Fahad Alessa, Reem Mohammed Alhumaidi, Maryam Farooqui, Ahlam Sundus, Suhaj Abdulsalim, Asma Jabeen, Wan Ismahanisa Ismail


Medication use during pregnancy involves inherent risks, necessitating the recognition of community pharmacists (CPs) as essential providers of safe and effective pharmaceutical care. In response to the widespread availability of CPs, the Saudi healthcare system has implemented diverse strategies to establish a network of care that interconnects community pharmacies and public health clinics. Owing to the prevalent use of medications among pregnant Saudi women, CPs play a crucial role in providing patient education and counseling to this vulnerable population. Therefore, the study aimed to explore the attitudes and practices of CPs toward the risks associated with medication use during pregnancy. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in the Qassim region of Saudi Arabia between January and April 2019. A total of 170 CPs were approached from the six governorates of the Qassim region, with 150 agreeing to participate and completing the survey, resulting in an 88.2% response rate. The CPs in this study demonstrated awareness of the potential adverse effects of teratogenic drugs, aligning with the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, the importance of continuous professional development (CPD) was emphasized, highlighting the need for more specific training related to maternal care. Access to reliable drug information resources in community pharmacies has emerged as a crucial factor for enabling evidence-based recommendations for pregnant women. This study sheds light on the attitudes and practices of CPs in Saudi Arabia, providing valuable insights into their role in mitigating medication risks during pregnancy. The findings underscore the importance of ongoing professional development and the necessity of robust drug information resources within community pharmacies to ensure the delivery of optimal care for pregnant women.


Keywords: community pharmacists, medication safety, antenatal medication use, attitude, practices, Qassim, Saudi Arabia.

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