A Comparison of Buprenorphine + Naloxone to Buprenorphine and Methadone in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence during Pregnancy: Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes

Subst Abuse. 2013;7:61-74. doi: 10.4137/SART.S10955. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Given that buprenorphine + naloxone is prescribed for opioid-dependent pregnant women, it is important to examine the extent to which it differs from buprenorphine alone, methadone, or methadone-assisted withdrawal on neonatal and maternal outcomes. Summary statistics on maternal and neonatal outcomes were collected from 7 previously published studies examining treatment for opioid-dependent pregnant women that represented a range of research methodologies. Outcomes from these studies were compared to the same outcomes for 10 women treated with the combined buprenorphine + naloxone product. There were no significant differences in maternal outcomes for buprenorphine + naloxone compared to buprenorphine, methadone, or methadone-assisted withdrawal. Preliminary findings suggest no significant adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes related to the use of buprenorphine + naloxone for the treatment of opioid dependence during pregnancy. However, further research should examine possible differences between buprenorphine + naloxone and buprenorphine alone or methadone in fetal physical development.

Keywords: buprenorphine; methadone; neonates; opioid dependence; pregnancy.