Article Text

Medicines information needs during pregnancy: a multinational comparison
  1. Katri Hämeen-Anttila1,
  2. Johanna Jyrkkä1,
  3. Hannes Enlund1,
  4. Hedvig Nordeng2,3,
  5. Angela Lupattelli2,
  6. Esa Kokki1
  1. 1Finnish Medicines Agency, Kuopio, Finland
  2. 2School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katri Hämeen-Anttila; katri.hameen-anttila{at}


Objectives The aim was to assess the perceived needs of medicines information and information sources for pregnant women in various countries.

Design Cross-sectional internet-based study.

Setting Multinational.

Participants Pregnant women and women with children less than 25 weeks.

Primary and secondary outcome measures The need for information about medicines was assessed by a question: ‘Did you need information about medicines during the course of your pregnancy?’ A list of commonly used sources of information was given to explore those that are used.

Results Altogether, 7092 eligible women responded to the survey (5090 pregnant women and 2002 women with a child less than 25 weeks). Of the respondents, 57% (n=4054, range between different countries 46–77%) indicated a need for information about medicines during their pregnancy. On average, respondents used three different information sources. The most commonly used information sources were healthcare professionals—physicians (73%), pharmacy personnel (46%) and midwifes or nurses (33%)—and the internet (60%). There were distinct differences in the information needs and information sources used in different countries.

Conclusions A large proportion of pregnant women have perceived information needs about medicines during pregnancy, and they rely on healthcare professionals. The internet is also a widely used information source. Further studies are needed to evaluate the use of the internet as a medicines information source by pregnant women.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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