Prenatal Exposure to OMT Does Not Worsen Neonatal Outcomes
TUESDAY, Aug. 27, 2019 -- Exposure to opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) in the womb does not seem to cause additional harm to newborns, according to a study published online Aug. 14 in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives.
Marte Handal, Ph.D., of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues analyzed nationwide registry data and identified 333 infants in the Czech Republic and 235 infants in Norway who were exposed to OMT in the womb. Comparison groups included babies from women who were hospitalized with opioid use disorder during their pregnancy in the Czech Republic (106) and women whose infants were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in Norway (294). The outcomes assessed were gestational age, preterm birth, growth parameters, small for gestational age (SGA), miscarriage, stillbirth, NAS (in the Norwegian sample only), and Apgar scores of <7 at one and five minutes.
The researchers found that the OMT group outcomes were similar to the comparison group outcomes in both countries. Growth parameters were similar in the OMT and comparison groups, gestational age was prolonged by OMT exposure in Norway (adjusted b, 0.96 weeks; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 1.53), and the odds of preterm birth and Apgar scores at five minutes were lower in the OMT group than the comparison group (adjusted odds ratios, 0.35 [95 percent CI, 0.16 to 0.75] and 0.21 [95 percent CI, 0.06 to 0.78], respectively). Growth parameters were also similar between infants of women who received OMT and infants of women with opioid use disorders who did not receive OMT during pregnancy.
These results suggest "that it is not the OMT drugs themselves that are associated with worse neonatal outcomes, but other factors related to opioid use, such as comorbidity, socioeconomic, and lifestyle factors," Handal said in a statement.
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Posted: August 2019