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European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 72, Issue 5, pp 593–604 | Cite as

Treatment of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy —a cross-sectional study among 712 Norwegian women

  • Kristine HeitmannEmail author
  • Anja Solheimsnes
  • Gro C. Havnen
  • Hedvig Nordeng
  • Lone Holst
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription

Abstract

Purpose

The purposes of this study were to investigate the treatments used for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) according to NVP severity among Norwegian women and to assess whether maternal characteristics and attitudes were related to the use of pharmacological treatment of NVP.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional Web-based study. Pregnant women and mothers with children ≤1 year of age were eligible to participate. Data were collected through an anonymous online questionnaire accessible from November 10th, 2014 to January 31st, 2015.

Results

In total, 712 women were included in the study, of which 62 (8.7 %), 439 (61.7 %) and 210 (29.5 %) had mild, moderate and severe NVP, respectively, according to the Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis (PUQE) classification. A total of 277 (38.9 %) women had used one or more antiemetics, of which meclizine, closely followed by metoclopramide, was the most commonly used. Different drug utilisation patterns were found between the groups of women with mild, moderate and severe NVP. Many with moderate or severe symptoms did not use any pharmacological treatment (70.2 and 32.9 %, respectively). Sick leave was given without initiating medical treatment in 266 (62.1 %) women. The women’s beliefs about medicines had an important impact on their use of medicines for NVP.

Conclusions

A large proportion of women suffered from moderate to severe symptoms of NVP, many of whom did not receive any pharmacological treatment. Many women, who had been on sick leave due to NVP, were not prescribed medicines.

Keywords

Morning sickness Hyperemesis gravidarum Pregnancy Drug therapy Meclizine Metoclopramide 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the providers of the websites for contributions in the recruitment phase, and all the women who participated in the study. KH received funding for her PhD project from The Norwegian Research Council (Grant no. 195475).

Author’s contribution

KH, LH, GCH and HN conceived and designed the study. AS collected the data. KH performed the statistical analyses and drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the results and to the final manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

228_2016_2012_MOESM1_ESM.docx (27 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 26.7 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine Heitmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anja Solheimsnes
    • 1
  • Gro C. Havnen
    • 2
  • Hedvig Nordeng
    • 3
  • Lone Holst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Global Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Regional Medicines Information and Pharmacovigilance Centre (RELIS)Oslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  3. 3.PharmacoEpidemiology and Drug Safety Research Group, School of PharmacyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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