What is it about?

Official guidelines recommend using methadone or buprenorphine as maintenance treatments for maternal opioid use disorder. However, buprenorphine-naloxone, with a lower abuse risk offers a potentially beneficial alternative. Our recent study Buprenorphine-naloxone, buprenorphine, and methadone throughout pregnancy in maternal opioid use disorder published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica indicates that combination therapy of buprenorphine and naloxone is as safe as buprenorphine alone during pregnancy for both mother and newborn.

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Why is it important?

The worldwide opioid crisis affects societies, as well as vulnerable society members: pregnant women, fetuses and children. Women’s health and well-being during pregnancy contribute to better health of newborns. The aim of our study is to investigate the safety of buprenorphine-naloxone combination therapy during pregnancy. The data could be utilized when renewing recommendations for opioid maintenance treatment of pregnant women.


Combination therapy of buprenorphine and naloxone could be a choice for oral opioid maintenance treatment during pregnancy, but larger studies are needed before changing the official recommendations. Concomitant illicit drug use even among seemingly committed pregnant women appears to be worryingly frequent. All pregnant women with drug misuse problem and their children need careful treatment and follow-up.

Minna Kanervo
University of Helsinki

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Buprenorphine‐naloxone, buprenorphine, and methadone throughout pregnancy in maternal opioid use disorder, Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, December 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/aogs.14497.
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