According to a research study, pregnant women prescribed on opioids (during their pregnancy) develop greater risks of giving birth to babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The research was conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University, Nashville and was published in Paediatrics Journal.
Around 259 million pregnant women in the US alone were prescribed opioids as a pain reliever in 2012. Researchers had examined the records of nearly 112,000 pregnant women and also examined the data obtained from Tennessee’s Medical program. Around 28% of women who were the subjects of this study had received at least one pain reliever with opioid content in their prescription.
However, researchers are puzzled by the fact that the babies, who were exposed to these opioids during the birth, do not have the drug withdrawal symptom post birth. The researchers have also showed that several things have enhanced the risks associated to the infant. Other factors associated to enhance the risks were the number of cigarettes a woman smoked, type of opioid prescribed, antidepressants prescribed and other similar elements.
However, it was also stated by the researchers that studying the impact, which opioid had during the pregnancy should be considered “more pertinent” than other elements associated with the risks. Also, researchers have concluded one important point from the study.
Infants need different post birth care, if their mothers had been prescribed with opioids. Moreover, such infants should be watched closely on instances of NAS. Also, the care required by such infants should be more efficient than normal healthy infants.
The research also concludes that there is a need to develop innovative strategies to enhance monitoring of the prescribed drugs. It also states that relevant database and predicting adverse outcomes, associated with risks such as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and death from overdoses needs to be evaluated and piloted.
Opioids are chemical substances, which resembles opiates in its pharmacological effects. They act as pain relievers by binding on opioid receptors, which are majorly found in the Peripheral and the Central Nervous system.