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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


CHAVES, Roberto G.; LAMOUNIER, Joel A.  and  CESAR, Cibele C.. Self-medication in nursing mothers and its influence on the duration of breastfeeding. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.2, pp.129-134. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the practice of self-medication by nursing mothers, the main drugs used and the influence on the duration of breastfeeding. METHODS: A longitudinal cohort study involving 246 women seen at the maternity unit of Hospital Manoel Gonçalves in Itaúna, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. A monthly follow-up of mothers and newborns was performed for the first 12 months postpartum or until weaning. The effect of the practice of self-medication on the duration of breastfeeding was evaluated by multivariate analysis using Cox's regression model with time-dependent variables. RESULTS: Self-medication was practiced by 52.4% of the nursing mothers. The most used pharmacological classes were: analgesics/antipyretics (54.5%), non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (15%), spasmolytics (6.2%), laxatives (3.5%), benzodiazepines (3%), nasal decongestants (1.4%), and antibiotics (0.9%). The most used drugs were dipyrone (31.5%) and paracetamol (17.9%). The practice of self-medication was associated with a higher probability of the use of drugs posing the risk of adverse effects for the infant or for lactation (p = 0.000). However, the practice of self-medication was not associated with weaning (p = 0.135). CONCLUSIONS: The high rates of self-medication among nursing mothers and the use of drugs posing risks of undesirable effects for the infant and for lactation reveal the need for better education on the risks of self-medication by nursing mothers. However, self-medication was not proven to be a risk factor for weaning.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; lactation; weaning; self-medication; pharmaceutical preparations.

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