“A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay.
While buprenorphine is often prescribed for pregnant women who are undergoing addiction therapy, this study is the first report of the drug being used to treat newborns in clinical practice.
Infants born to women who are dependent on opioids are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
“The burden of NAS on public healthcare and on the family may be mitigated partially through the judicious selection of a therapeutic agent,” says Eric Hall, PhD, a researcher in the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and lead author of the study. “Buprenorphine therapy may be superior to methadone for the management of infants with NAS experiencing select opioid exposures, including those whose mothers are not receiving methadone therapy or using methadone illicitly while pregnant.”
Source: ScienceDaily.com – January 5, 2016