Document Detail

What risks do women face when seeking advice during pregnancy from pharmacies and natural health retailers?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23321884     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
AIM: Potential risks to mother and foetus exist with the incorrect use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products during pregnancy. This study aimed to identify the risks that a woman may face when seeking advice during pregnancy from pharmacies and health food stores (HFS) in Greater Wellington (New Zealand).
METHODS: 21 HFS and 21 geographically-matched pharmacies were visited by a researcher who sought advice regarding vitamin supplementation and nausea in early pregnancy using a standardised scenario. Any advice given, including details of recommended products, was documented immediately upon leaving the premises. Proportions were obtained and paired contingency table analysis was used to examine the agreement between the matched pairs.
RESULTS: A minority of pharmacies (5/21, 23.8%) and HFS (1/21, 4.8%) made primary recommendations for nausea which were supported by Ministry of Health (MOH) guidelines, and both pharmacies (14/21, 66.7%) and HFS (7/21, 33.3%) recommended products contrary to these guidelines. A greater proportion of pharmacies gave advice consistent with MOH recommended dosage of folic acid supplementation than HFS (20/21, 95.2% vs 10/21, 47.6%). 2/21 (9.5%) of pharmacies and 4/21 (19%) of HFS gave advice with a potential risk of vitamin A overdose.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacies and HFS in Greater Wellington provided potentially hazardous advice, recommending products, often branded for pregnancy, which contradicted NZ MOH guidelines. Regulatory reform of CAM products and those who sell them is called for in New Zealand.
Sarah Jefferies; Bridget Healy; Mark Weatherall; Richard Beasley; Philippa Shirtcliffe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-12-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  The New Zealand medical journal     Volume:  125     ISSN:  1175-8716     ISO Abbreviation:  N. Z. Med. J.     Publication Date:  2012  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401067     Medline TA:  N Z Med J     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  61-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Private Bag 7902, Wellington 6242, New Zealand.
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