Multivitamin supplements an unnecessary expense during pregnancy
Review finds strong evidence for pregnant women taking folic acid supplements, unclear evidence for vitamin D supplementation and no evidence for other multivitamins.
Maternal nutritional deficiencies are linked with poor pregnancy outcomes and vitamins are often advertised to pregnant women. But evidence for multivitamins mostly comes from studies of women in poor countries.
A report in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (online, 11 July 2016) reviewed the evidence behind official UK guidance, which recommends vitamin D and folic acid supplements but not multivitamins.
The authors found strong support for daily folic acid supplementation during early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. But the evidence was unclear for vitamin D supplementation, with little evidence from randomised controlled trials. The review also found no evidence from available data to support the use of multivitamin supplements.
The team concludes that the focus should be on improving access to folic acid and vitamin D supplements, but that multivitamins promoted to women in the UK are an unneeded expense.
Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2016.20201421
Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press
Disease Management covers the diseases commonly encountered in primary care by system, with common therapeutic issues. Includes case studies and self-assessment sections.£54.00
FASTtrack: Pharmacology is a study guide providing an account of drug action, as well as dealing with molecular pharmacology at a more advanced level.£25.00
An practical, integrated approach to the pathophysiological and pharmacotherapeutic principles underlying the treatment of disease.£54.00
An innovative book which presents statistics in the context of clinical trials conducted during pharmaceutical drug development.£38.00
A detailed review of suppository dosage forms. For all those involved in the formulation, development, manufacture and testing of suppositories.£71.00