Antimalarial treatment patterns among pregnant women attending antenatal care clinics in south east Nigeria and the future implications

Charles Ezenduka, Chizoba Nworgu, Brian Barr Godman*, Amos Massele, Charles Esimone

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prompt and effective treatment of malaria in pregnancy in accordance with recommended guidelines is essential to help prevent adverse events among pregnant mothers and the foetus. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess current prescribing of antimalarial medicines in pregnancy against policy guidelines in south east Nigeria to provide future guidance. Methods: A review of prescription records of pregnant women treated for malaria over a 6-month period between August 2013 and January 2014 was carried out to assess the prescribing patterns for both the prevention and treatment of malaria in each trimester and analyzed for conformity to recommended guidelines. Results: Among 859 antenatal records reviewed, the majority (83.2%) were in the second and third trimesters. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (40.9%) and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (37.5%) were the most prescribed antimalarial medicines for both treatment and prophylaxis (prevention), respectively, in all trimesters. Overall, 68.5% of the prescriptions conformed to guideline recommendations, with the prescriptions for non-recommended drugs occurring most often in the first trimester. In the second and three trimesters, up to 79.9% of pregnant women received appropriate medicines for both treatment and prevention of malaria, with artemether-lumefantrine the most prescribed regimen. Conclusion: Current practice indicates greater conformity with guidelines particularly in the second and three trimesters vs previous studies. However, there are still concerns with prescribing practices in the first trimester, especially in private health facilities. This needs addressing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimalarial medicines
  • Nigeria
  • pregnant women
  • treatment guidelines


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