Archive for category Opiates'

Consequences of Prenatal Drug Exposure: Opiates

Epidemiology of Opiate Use in Pregnancy The literature regarding developmental outcomes for infants prenatally exposed to opiates is relatively sparse and was primarily generated in the 1970s and early 1980s. The literature is also made more problematic by the issue of polysubstance abuse, as research investigating prenatal opiate exposure includes exposure to heroin, methadone, or both, and may also include exposure to amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine. Recent studies report prevalence for opiate use during pregnancy to range from less than 1 to 2 percent to as high as 21 percent. Growth/Physiological Effects The most consistently reported effect of prenatal opiate exposure is associated with fetal growth retardation and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Neonatal abstinence is described by Kaltenbach and Finnegan () as a generalized disorder characterized by signs and symptoms of central nervous system hyperirritability, gastrointestinal dysfunction, respiratory distress, and vague autonomic symptoms that include yawning, sneezing, mottling, and fever. These early neurobehavioral outcomes do not persist, however. Within the past decade, methadone maintenance has become accepted Read more […]