HealthDay (8/2, Reinberg) reports that expectant mothers who take prescription opioid analgesics plus psychiatric medications “for depression or anxiety have a 30 to 60 percent greater risk of giving birth to an infant” with neonatal abstinence syndrome “than those taking opioids alone, researchers found.” What’s more, “use of two or more psychiatric drugs in addition to opioids was associated with a twofold increased risk of infant withdrawal,” the study revealed. Included in the study were data on some 200,000 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid who had “received a prescription for an opioid” medication. The findings were published online Aug. 2 in the BMJ.
According to Medscape (8/2, Kuehn), the authors of an accompanying editorial wrote, “As the US opioid epidemic accelerates in complexity, there is an urgent need to focus resources on this issue, including expansion of research funding for drug safety in pregnancy and improvement of outcomes for mothers and infants affected by opioid use disorder, more funding for prevention of the disorder, and an expansion of treatment options for affected mothers and their infants.”
— “Is Infant Drug Withdrawal Likelier When Opioids Used With Psychiatric Drugs?,” Steven Reinberg, HealthDay, August 2, 2017.