Infrequent neonatal opiate withdrawal following maternal methadone detoxification during pregnancy

J Perinat Med. 1990;18(2):111-8. doi: 10.1515/jpme.1990.18.2.111.


The influence of maternal participation in a methadone detoxification program as compared to street drug use on intrauterine growth and neonatal morbidity was analysed in 75 newborns. -58 of 75 pregnant addicts joined the methadone program; in 17 women with successful prepartal detoxification, we found a longer course of pregnancy as well as normalized birth weight, head circumference and respiratory status of the neonates. The HIV-status showed no influence on prenatal growth. 63% of all infants developed a neonatal abstinence syndrome; this incidence was lower after maternal participation in the methadone detoxification program: 55 vs. 88%, p less than 0.05. Postnatal respiratory insufficiency occurred more frequently after methadone exposure than after heroin exposure before birth (p less than 0.05).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / drug effects
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Methadone / adverse effects*
  • Narcotics*
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / etiology*
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / chemically induced
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / complications
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology


  • Narcotics
  • Methadone