It has been reported the use of nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in late pregnancy was associated with potentially fetal toxicity (contraction of fetal ductus areteriosus). According to the package inserts in Japan, many oral NSAIDs are contraindicated to women in late pregnancy, but several oral and topical NSAIDs with case reports of fetal toxicity are not. In the present study, a web-based questionnaire survey was conducted in pharmacists/physicians to determine their awareness of fetal toxicity caused by NSAIDs, as well as their attitudes regarding the use of NSAIDs in late pregnancy. Responses were obtained from 427 pharmacists, 22 obstetricians, and 160 non-obstetric physicians. Of the non-obstetric respondents, more than 40% had no knowledge of fetal ductus arteriosus contraction caused by oral ibuprofen, and most of them were not aware of the relevant warning statement on the package insert. In contrast, these were familiar to nearly 100% of the obstetricians. As for ketoprofen tape, only 20-40% of the pharmacists/physicians were aware of the warning statement, and nearly all respondents did not confirm whether the patient was in late pregnancy. The majority of the respondents answered that oral ibuprofen, ketoprofen tape and NSAID-containing OTC drugs should not be used in late pregnancy after they knew the warning statements in late pregnancy. This survey suggests that the fetal toxicity of NSAIDs is not well recognized by pharmacists/physicians. It would be necessary to make it thoroughly known to them through such as enrichment of safety information on the package inserts, accompanying with the evidence.
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