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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 179-184

Implications of antibiotics and oral contraceptive interactions: knowledge and practice of dental surgeons

Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A O Arigbede
Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, College of Health Sciences University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVES: Unplanned pregnancies may result if antibiotics are prescribed for women using combined oral contraceptive (COC).The current study is designed to determine: the rate and pattern of antibiotic prescription during a normal week, the awareness of Nigerian dentists about possible drug interaction between antibiotics and oral contraceptives, and to determine the knowledge of Nigerian dentists about additional preventive measures to be employed by patients on combined oral contraceptive being placed on broad spectrum antibiotics. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 3 tertiary and 2 secondary health institutions in Nigeria using dental House Officers and Residents as subjects. Medical House officers were employed as control. An open and close ended questionnaire that sought for information about types and number of times antibiotics are prescribed per week, influence of some medical conditions and drugs like contraceptive on choice of antibiotics and knowledge of relevant advice to be given to patients on oral contraceptive being given broad spectrum antibiotics was employed. RESULTS: Antibiotics are prescribed 1-3 times per week by most dental graduates during a normal week. The antibiotics frequently prescribed by both the cases and the control include: Amoxicillin and Metronidazole. The dentists' decision to select appropriate antibiotics is influenced by the presence of pregnancy (90.52%) and penicillin allergy (85.34%). Only 59.48% of the dentists admitted being so influenced by current history of contraceptive use. Two respondents knew and gave relevant advice on additional preventive measure to be employed by patients on pills being given antibiotics CONCLUSION: This initial report suggests that Nigerian dentists are not well informed about the potential interaction between antibiotics and combined oral contraceptive and the extra precautions to be taken when antibiotics is prescribed for women on COC pills. A cross-section of Nigerian dentists prescribed antibiotics 1-3 times during a normal week.

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