Buprenorphine treatment of pregnant opioid--dependent women: maternal and neonatal outcomes

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001 Jun 1;63(1):97-103. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(00)00194-0.


This open-label prospective study examined maternal and neonatal safety and efficacy outcome measures during and following prenatal buprenorphine exposure. Three opioid-dependent pregnant women received 8 or 12 mg sublingual buprenorphine tablets daily for 15-16 weeks prior to delivery. Results showed that buprenorphine in combination with comprehensive prenatal care was safe and effective in these women. Prenatal exposure to buprenorphine resulted in normal birth outcomes, a mean of 4.33 days (minimum possible=4) hospitalization, and a 'relatively mild' neonatal abstinence syndrome comprised primarily of tremors (disturbed), hyperactive moro and shortened sleep after feeding. The infants required no pharmacological treatment. Onset of neonatal abstinence signs occurred within the first 12 h after birth, peaked by 72 h and returned to below pre-12 h levels by 120 h. It is concluded that buprenorphine has potential utility for the treatment of pregnant opioid-dependent women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*


  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Buprenorphine