Introduction: Little is known about the relationship between cigarette smoking and agonist treatment in opioid-dependent pregnant patients. The objective of this study is to examine the extent to which cigarette smoking profiles differentially changed during the course of pregnancy in opioid-dependent patients receiving either double-blind methadone or buprenorphine. Patients were participants in the international, randomized controlled Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study.
Methods: A sample of opioid-maintained pregnant patients (18-41 years old) with available smoking data who completed a multisite, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial of methadone (n = 67) and buprenorphine (n = 57) between 2005 and 2008. Participants were compared on smoking variables based on opioid agonist treatment condition.
Results: Overall, 95% of the sample reported cigarette smoking at treatment entry. Participants in the two medication conditions were similar on pretreatment characteristics including smoking rates and daily cigarette amounts. Over the course of the pregnancy, no meaningful changes in cigarette smoking were observed for either medication condition. The fitted difference in change in adjusted cigarettes per day between the two conditions was small and nonsignificant (β = -0.08, SE = 0.05, p = .132).
Conclusions: Results support high rates of smoking with little change during pregnancy among opioid-dependent patients, regardless of the type of agonist medication received. These findings are consistent with evidence that suggests nicotine effects, and interactions may be similar for buprenorphine compared with methadone. The outcomes further highlight that aggressive efforts are needed to reduce/eliminate smoking in opioid-dependent pregnant women.