Public Release: 

Many pregnant women search the Internet for medication safety information

Wiley

A new study reveals that due to a lack of specific recommendations for medication use during pregnancy, many pregnant women search the Internet for information.

Among 284 women, more than a third were taking a medication at the time of conception, and three-quarters of the women had used the internet to search for information about the safety of a medication in pregnancy (with analgesics being the most commonly searched drug category). Health service sites were the most common online source. Few women purchased medications from e-pharmacies.

"Pregnant women use the Internet on a regular basis and in this small study, the power of the Internet to influence women's decision making is clearly demonstrated when the majority said the information they retrieved either verified or reassured them it was ok to take the medication or influenced their decision not to take the medication," said Prof. Marlene Sinclair, lead author of the Journal of Advanced Nursing study.

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