Current guidelines recommend prescribing either methadone or buprenorphine to pregnant women with opioid use disorders, but these drugs also have significant potential for abuse.A recent study published in Scandinavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Combination therapy with buprenorphine and naloxone, which is known to help prevent such abuse, has been shown to be as safe as buprenorphine alone during pregnancy for both mother and child.
In a study of 67 pregnant women, the buprenorphine-naloxone and buprenorphine groups showed similar results and did not differ significantly from each other regarding maternal health during pregnancy, delivery, or neonatal health.
“Buprenorphine and naloxone combination therapy may be an option for oral opioid maintenance therapy during pregnancy, but larger studies are needed before the official recommendations can be changed,” said the University of Helsinki, Finland. Hospital lead author Minna M. Kanervo said. “Women on methadone therapy need particularly careful follow-up because they may have more serious substance abuse problems,” she said.
Minna M. Kanervo et al., Buprenorphine-naloxone, buprenorphine, and methadone during pregnancy in maternal opioid use disorder. Scandinavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2022). DOI: 10.1111/aogs.14497
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