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Open AccessReview

Opioid Use in Pregnant Women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome—A Review of the Literature

1
Centro de Investigação em Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde da Universidade da Beira Interior (CICS-UBI), 6200-506 Covilhã, Portugal
2
Serviço de Química e Toxicologia Forenses, Instituto de Medicina Legal e Ciências Forenses—Delegação do Sul, 1150-334 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Laboratório de Fármaco-Toxicologia—UBIMedical, Universidade da Beira Interior, 6200-284 Covilhã, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Exposure to Toxics and Risks in Infants)
Opiate use during pregnancy has been an increasing problem over the last two decades, making it an important social and health concern. The use of such substances may have serious negative outcomes in the newborn, and clinical and cognitive conditions have been reported, including neonatal abstinence syndrome, developmental problems, and lower cognitive performance. These conditions are common when opiates are used during pregnancy, making the prescription of these kinds of drugs problematic. Moreover, the mother may develop opiate addiction, thus, increasing the likelihood of the infant being born with any of those conditions. This paper reviews the use of opiates during pregnancy and focuses mainly on the neonatal abstinence syndrome. First, the commonly prescribed opiates will be identified, namely those usually involved in cases of addiction and/or neonatal abstinence syndrome. Second, published approaches to deal with those problems will be presented and discussed, including the treatment of both the mother and the infant. Finally, we will outline the treatments that are safest and most efficient, and will define future goals, approaches, and research directions for the scientific community regarding this problem. View Full-Text
Keywords: opiates; in utero drug exposure; pregnancy; neonatal abstinence syndrome opiates; in utero drug exposure; pregnancy; neonatal abstinence syndrome
MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, F.; Oppolzer, D.; Santos, C.; Barroso, M.; Gallardo, E. Opioid Use in Pregnant Women and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome—A Review of the Literature. Toxics 2019, 7, 9.

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