Increase in Prescription Opioid Use During Pregnancy Among Medicaid-Enrolled Women Reply

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.37). 05/2014; 123(5):997-1002. DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000208
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To report the prevalence of prescription opioid use and evaluate the trends in a large cohort of Medicaid-enrolled pregnant women.
A cohort of pregnancies was identified using data from the Medicaid Analytical eXtract for the period of 2000-2007. Dispensing of opioids, as a class and separately for individual agents, was evaluated using claims from filled prescriptions. Variations in patterns of prescription opioid fills were examined by demographic characteristics, by geographic region, and over time. Median number of opioid prescriptions dispensed and cumulative days of availability for prescription opioids during pregnancy were reported.
The study population consisted of more than 1.1 million women with completed pregnancies from 46 U.S. states and Washington, DC. One of five women from our cohort (21.6%) filled a prescription for an opioid during pregnancy; this proportion increased from 18.5% in 2000 to 22.8% in 2007. Substantial regional variation was seen with the proportion of women who filled a prescription during pregnancy, ranging between 9.5% and 41.6% across the states. Codeine and hydrocodone were the most commonly prescribed opioids. Among women filling at least one opioid prescription, the median (interquartile range) number of prescriptions filled was 1 (1-2) and the median (interquartile range) cumulative days of opioid availability during pregnancy were 5 (3-13) days.
We observed high and increasing number of filled prescriptions for opioids during pregnancy among Medicaid-enrolled women. These findings call for further safety evaluations of these drugs and their effects on the developing fetus to inform clinical practice. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: II.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To provide absolute and relative risk estimates of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) based on duration and timing of prescription opioid use during pregnancy in the presence or absence of additional NAS risk factors of history of opioid misuse or dependence, misuse of other substances, non-opioid psychotropic drug use, and smoking. Observational cohort study. Medicaid data from 46 US states. Pregnant women filling at least one prescription for an opioid analgesic at any time during pregnancy for whom opioid exposure characteristics including duration of therapy: short term (<30 days) or long term (≥30 days); timing of use: early use (only in the first two trimesters) or late use (extending into the third trimester); and cumulative dose (in morphine equivalent milligrams) were assessed. Diagnosis of NAS in liveborn infants. 1705 cases of NAS were identified among 290 605 pregnant women filling opioid prescriptions, corresponding to an absolute risk of 5.9 per 1000 deliveries (95% confidence interval 5.6 to 6.2). Long term opioid use during pregnancy resulted in higher absolute risk of NAS per 1000 deliveries in the presence of additional risk factors of known opioid misuse (220.2 (200.8 to 241.0)), alcohol or other drug misuse (30.8 (26.1 to 36.0)), exposure to other psychotropic medications (13.1 (10.6 to 16.1)), and smoking (6.6 (4.3 to 9.6)) than in the absence of any of these risk factors (4.2 (3.3 to 5.4)). The corresponding risk estimates for short term use were 192.0 (175.8 to 209.3), 7.0 (6.0 to 8.2), 2.0 (1.5 to 2.6), 1.5 (1.0 to 2.0), and 0.7 (0.6 to 0.8) per 1000 deliveries, respectively. In propensity score matched analyses, long term prescription opioid use compared with short term use and late use compared with early use in pregnancy demonstrated greater risk of NAS (risk ratios 2.05 (95% confidence interval 1.81 to 2.33) and 1.24 (1.12 to 1.38), respectively). Use of prescription opioids during pregnancy is associated with a low absolute risk of NAS in the absence of additional risk factors. Long term use compared with short term use and late use compared with early use of prescription opioids are associated with increased NAS risk independent of additional risk factors. © Desai et al 2015.
    BMJ (online) 05/2015; 350(may14 1):h2102. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h2102 · 16.38 Impact Factor
  • Pharmacotherapy 03/2015; 35(3):241-2. DOI:10.1002/phar.1571 · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective:Compare duration of treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome between methadone and morphine.Study design:A prospective, double-masked, randomized trial at a single site. Randomization of methadone or morphine was stratified for maternal treatment with methadone or buprenorphine. Inclusion criteria were (i) maternal treatment with prescribed methadone or buprenorphine, (ii) withdrawal treatment criteria, (iii) adjusted gestational age ⩾35(0/7) weeks and (iv) medically stable. Primary outcome was length of opioid treatment.Result:From January 2011 through October 2012, 78 infants were eligible for the study: 41 methadone-exposed and 37 buprenorphine-exposed. Consent was obtained from 31 mothers, 13/41 (32%) methadone-treated and 18/37 (49%) buprenorphine-treated. Length of opioid treatment was significantly shorter for methadone than morphine treatment, median 14 versus 21 days (P=0.008).Conclusion:Methadone had a shorter length of neonatal withdrawal treatment compared with morphine. Owing to the smaller sample size and single site, a larger randomized study is needed.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 30 October 2014; doi:10.1038/jp.2014.194.
    Journal of perinatology: official journal of the California Perinatal Association 10/2014; 35(4). DOI:10.1038/jp.2014.194 · 2.35 Impact Factor