Maternal Opioids After Delivery Not Linked to Adverse Infant Outcomes

No increase seen in likelihood of admission to hospital for any reason, and no infant deaths recorded

medicine cabinet
Adobe Stock

FRIDAY, March 24, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal opioid prescription after delivery seems not to be associated with adverse infant outcomes, including admission to the hospital or death, according to a study published March 15 in The BMJ.

Jonathan S. Zipursky, M.D., Ph.D., from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study involving 865,691 mother-infant pairs discharged from the hospital within seven days of delivery. A total of 85,675 mothers who filled an opioid prescription within seven days of discharge were propensity score-matched to 85,675 mothers who did not.

The researchers found that 3.5 percent of the infants admitted to the hospital within 30 days were born to mothers who filled an opioid prescription compared with 3.5 percent born to mothers who did not. The likelihood of admission to the hospital for any reason was not increased for infants born to mothers who were prescribed an opioid versus infants of mothers who were not prescribed an opioid. Infants born to mothers prescribed an opioid had a slightly increased likelihood of being taken to an emergency department in the subsequent 30 days (odds ratio, 1.04), but no differences were seen for other adverse infants outcomes. No infant deaths were recorded.

"Although we endorse caution in short term postpartum opioid use in selected mothers, clinicians and parents should be reassured that infants are at low risk of harm," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed receiving payments for medicolegal opinions regarding the safety and effectiveness of analgesics, including opioids.

Abstract/Full Text


Elana Gotkine

Elana Gotkine

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on March 24, 2023

Read this Next
About UsOur ProductsCustom SolutionsHow it’s SoldOur ResultsDeliveryContact UsBlogPrivacy PolicyFAQ