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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-23

Physicians' prescribing pattern, perceived safety of asthma medications and management of asthma during pregnancy in Nigeria


1 Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gyneacology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
4 Department of Pharmacology, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
5 Department of Obstetrics and Gyneacology, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
6 Department of Obstetrics and Gyneacology, Federal Medical Centre, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Olufemi Olumuyiwa Desalu
Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1459, Ilorin
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-6691.162974

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Background: Under-treatment of asthma in pregnancy can result in adverse fetal and maternal outcomes. The potential risk of teratogenicity may limit prompt and adequate management of medical disorders in pregnancy. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the physicians' prescribing pattern, their perceived safety of asthma medications and management of asthma during pregnancy in obstetric care units of a developing country. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire containing case vignettes and multiple choice questions were used to evaluate the physicians prescribing practices, their perceived safety of medications and approach to asthma management in pregnancy. Result: Of the 144 doctors that participated in the study; 76 (52.8%) would prefer inhaled long-acting β2 agonist and inhaled corticosteroids combination (LABA/ICSs) while 10 (6.9%) would prefer leukotriene antagonists (LTA) as a controller medication in the first trimester of pregnancy. Short-acting β2 agonists, LABA, and theophylline were perceived to be safest throughout pregnancy, corticosteroids and cromoglycates were considered unsafe in first trimester while LTA were considered unsafe in all the trimesters by a majority of respondents. To gain asthma control in a patient already on low dose LABA/ICS, 94 (65.3%) of the doctors would refer their to a respiratory specialist instead of increasing the dose of LABA/ICS. Less than half (42.3%) were willing to address medication compliance in nonconforming patients. The majority (72.2%) of the doctors' self-reported nonadherence to the asthma treatment guideline. Conclusion: Even though, most of the physicians caring for pregnant women seem to prefer LABA/ICS combination for asthma control, there exist a knowledge gap in the stepwise management of asthma, perceived safety of most asthma medications and tackling poor medication adherence.


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