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Alarming Number of Pregnant Women Prescribed Opioids

The New York Times reports on two studies new studies that have explored the prevalence of prescriptions for opioids for pregnant women. In the first study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers found that 1 in 5 Medicaid-enrolled women were prescribed an opioid during pregnancy and that these numbers were even higher in Southern states. The second study, published in Anesthesiology, found that in a cohort of 500,000 women, nearly 14% were prescribed an opioid during pregnancy. “Some doctors and scientists say they are concerned about recent research demonstrating an association between first trimester use of opioids and neural tube defects.” Additionally, prolonged use of opioids at the end of pregnancy can lead to dependence in the infant.

Read it in The New York Times.

Read the study in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Read the study in Anesthesiology.