Clinical care for opioid-using pregnant and postpartum women: The role of obstetric providers.
ABSTRACT We review clinical care issues related to illicit and therapeutic opioid use among pregnant and postpartum women, and outline the major responsibilities of obstetric providers who care for these patients during the antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum periods.Selected patient management issues are highlighted, and case examples are provided. Securing a strong rapport and trust with these patients is crucial for success in delivering high quality obstetric care and in coordinating services with other specialists as needed. Obstetric providers have an ethical obligation to screen, assess, and provide brief interventions and referral to specialized treatment to patients with drug use disorders. Opioid-dependent pregnant women can often be effectively treated with methadone or buprenorphine. These medications are classified as pregnancy Category C medications by the Food and Drug Administration, and their use in the treatment of opioid-dependent pregnant patients should not be considered "off-label". Except in rare special circumstances, medication-assisted withdrawal during pregnancy should be discouraged due to a high relapse rate. Acute pain management in this population deserves special consideration because opioid-using patients can be hypersensitive to pain and use of mixed opioid-agonist/antagonists can precipitate opioid withdrawal. In the absence of other indications, opioid-using pregnant women do not require more intense medical care than other pregnant patients in order to ensure adequate management and best possible outcomes. Together with specialists in pain and addiction medicine, obstetricians can coordinate comprehensive care for opioid-using pregnant and postpartum women.
SourceAvailable from: Fiona Kouyoumdjian
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ABSTRACT: As the rate of opioid prescription grows, so does fetal exposure to opioids during pregnancy. With increasing fetal exposure to both prescription and nonprescription drugs, there has been a concurrent increase in identification of Neonatal Withdrawal Syndrome (NWS) and adaptation difficulties after birth. In addition, extended use of opioids, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines in neonatal intensive care has resulted in iatrogenic withdrawal syndromes. There is a lack of evidence to support the use of any one specific evaluation strategy to identify NWS. Clinicians caring for infants must use a multimethod approach to diagnosis, including interview and toxicology screening. Signs of NWS are widely variable, and reflect dysfunction in autonomic regulation, state control, and sensory and motor functioning. Several assessment tools have been developed for assessing severity of withdrawal in term neonates. These tools assist in determining need and duration of pharmacologic therapy and help in titration of these therapies. Considerable variability exists in the pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches to affected babies across settings. An evidence-based protocol for identification, evaluation, and management of NWS should be in place in every nursery. This article provides an overview of identification and assessment considerations for providers who care for babies at risk for or who are experiencing alterations in state, behavior, and responses after prenatal or iatrogenic exposure to agents associated with the spectrum of withdrawal.MCN The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 01/2015; 40(2):87-95. DOI:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000117 · 0.84 Impact Factor