A Retrospective Cohort Study of Obstetric Outcomes in Opioid-Dependent Women Treated with Implant Naltrexone, Oral Methadone or Sublingual Buprenorphine, and Non-Dependent Controls

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Abstract

Background: Opioid pharmacotherapies play an important role in the treatment of opioid-dependent women; however, very little is known about the safety of naltrexone in pregnant patients. Objective: This study examined the obstetric health of opioid-dependent women who were treated with implant naltrexone during pregnancy, and compared them with women treated with methadone and/or buprenorphine and a cohort of non-opioid-dependent controls. Methods: Women treated with implant naltrexone, oral methadone or sublingual buprenorphine between 2001 and 2010, along with a cohort of age-matched controls, were linked with records from midwives, hospital and emergency departments (EDs) and the death registry to identify pregnancy and health events that occurred during pregnancy and in the post-partum period. Results: Overall rates of pregnancy loss (requiring hospital or ED attendance) were significantly elevated in naltrexone-treated women compared with buprenorphine-treated women (p = 0.018) and controls (p < 0.001); however, they were not statistically different to methadone-treated women (p = 0.210). Birth rates in women on naltrexone implant treatment were significantly higher than in all three comparison groups (p < 0.001). Rates of hospital and ED attendance during pregnancy in the naltrexone-treated women were not statistically different to those of either the methadone or buprenorphine groups, and neither were overall complications during pregnancy and labour. Overall rates of complications during pregnancy were significantly higher in the naltrexone-treated women than in the controls. Conclusion: Opioid-dependent women treated with naltrexone implant had higher rates of birth than the other three groups (methadone- or buprenorphine-treated women, or age-matched controls). Overall rates of complications during pregnancy were elevated in naltrexone-treated women when compared with the control group, but were generally not significantly different to rates in methadone- or buprenorphine-treated women. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1210
Number of pages12
JournalDrugs
Volume77
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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