Seeking treatment for substance use disorder is a noble decision. The decision is all the more imperative for expectant mothers dealing with addiction. Read on to learn more about methadone, Subutex, and Suboxone treatments for opioid use disorder during pregnancy.
What Are The Risks of Untreated OUD While Pregnant?
Opioid dependence has devastating effects for all users; however, for expectant mothers, the risks are heightened when their baby is also exposed to opioids. Therefore, it is critical to understand some of the risks of not seeking treatment at all.
According to a Mental Health Clinician study, maternal opioid use and withdrawal cause repeated daily cycles of fetal distress and withdrawal. The report includes fetal convulsions, also known as seizures, among other signs of fetal distress. “These cycles negatively impact placental function and can cause intrauterine growth restriction, placental abruption, preterm delivery, and low birth weight.”
According to the CDC, a growing fetus exposed to opioids is more likely to be born preterm, or prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. Short-term premature birth complications include breathing, heart, brain, temperature control, immune system, and metabolism complications. Preterm babies are also susceptible to long-term health complications, including cerebral palsy, learning impairments, and behavioral and psychological problems.
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS)
Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome is a treatable condition caused by prenatal exposure to opioids. Symptoms for NOWS include irritability, respiratory distress, and fever.
Is Treatment Possible for Pregnant Women?
Expecting mothers want what is best for themselves and their children. Receiving treatment with the guidance of medical providers is essential for the wellbeing of both the mother and the child. Fortunately, treatment is possible. All current medication assisted treatments are approved for pregnant women. These treatments include both methadone and buprenorphine products, including Subutex and Suboxone.
Approved Treatments for Pregnant Women
Prior to the availability of buprenorphine, methadone was the gold standard treatment for women with OUD. Currently, both methadone and buprenorphine are considered safe and effective treatments for women with OUD. The decision to use methadone versus buprenorphine depends on treatment availability, and a patient's individual medical history.
While methadone treatment is an available option, there are plenty of other choices that may better fit the needs of the mother.
Many adults in recovery may benefit from one of the several buprenorphine-based medications, including Subutex, and expecting mothers are no exception. Research showed that women taking Subutex during their pregnancy led to a 10% decrease in NAS and reduced neonatal treatment by roughly eight days when compared to methadone. Consult with a medical professional to decide whether a buprenorphine-based medication like Subutex is the best choice for your recovery.
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and can be used as a treatment for pregnant women. In fact, among several benefits of utilizing Suboxone treatment is the improved birth outcomes among women with substance use disorders.
Take Control of Substance Use Disorder With MATClincs
MATClinics helps people, pregnant and not, recover from opioid dependence with Medication Assisted Treatment. Combining prescription medications, like Suboxone, with counseling and behavioral therapy, we help patients address physical, social, and emotional barriers to recovery.
If you or a loved one are living with substance use disorder, contact us for help. MATClinics has eight offices located across Maryland with extended and weekend hours.