Buprenorphine in pregnant opioid-dependent women: first results of a prospective study

Addiction. 2004 Feb;99(2):209-14. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2003.00600.x.


Aim: To report results on the prospective follow-up of 34 pregnant women exposed to buprenorphine maintenance for opiate dependence.

Design and setting: Prospective multicentre study: all pregnant women receiving buprenorphine as maintenance therapy were included as early as possible during their pregnancy.

Participants: The pregnant women were recruited from opiate maintenance therapy centres, general practitioner-networks involved in addiction, maternity hospitals and centres for drug information during pregnancy.

Measurements: Women: drugs and medications consumed, medical and obstetrical events; offspring: withdrawal syndrome, malformation, neonatal disease.

Findings: The buprenorphine-exposed pregnancies resulted in 31 live births, one stillbirth, one spontaneous abortion and one voluntary termination. A neonatal withdrawal syndrome was observed in 13 cases (41.9%) and eight of these babies required opiate treatment. Two neonates had a malformation: a premature ductus arteriosus stricture and a tragus appendix.

Conclusion: Taken together with other prospective studies, no alarming results were observed concerning pregnancy outcomes. However, further data from the comparative prospective study are required to determine whether buprenorphine can be considered as a good alternative to methadone treatment in pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / rehabilitation*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Narcotics
  • Buprenorphine