What Are Prescription Opioids?

Opioids are sometimes called narcotics, it is a medication prescribed by doctors to treat severe pain after an injury, surgery, or during pregnancy time to relieve pain. They can even be used to treat a cough or diarrhea. This painkiller is derived from the poppy plant and contains semi-synthetic opiates which are drugs synthesized from naturally occurring opiates like heroin from morphine and oxycodone from thebaine, including codeine, morphine and oxycodone.

What Are Some Common Opioids?

The most commonly used prescription opioids are as follows

  1. Hydrocodone 
  2. Oxycodone 
  3. Oxymorphone 
  4. Buprenorphine
  5. Methadone
  6. Morphine 
  7. Codeine
  8. Fentanyl

Why Are They Dangerous to Pregnant Women?

Some studies suggest that prescription opioids during pregnancy as a general group might be associated with birth defects like 

  1. Poor fetal growth 
  2. Preterm birth 
  3. Stillbirth or miscarriage
  4. Neonatal abstinence syndrome 
  5. Premature birth  
  6. Inflammation of the fetal membranes 
  7. Postpartum heavy bleeding
  8. Preeclampsia

These defects often happen because people misuse their prescription by getting addicted to and taking with alcohol or other drugs, alternatively accidentally taking the other’s opioids or in a higher dose than prescribed by doctors.

Even if you take them exactly as your provider tells you to, it still may cause NAS in your baby, at the same time quitting suddenly can also cause severe problems.

Women who use prescription opioids during pregnancy should be aware of the possible risks during pregnancy. To avoid these risks when pregnant or even when thinking about getting pregnant, inform the situation to your healthcare provider so that they can change to a medicine that’s safer for your baby. And to treat this disorder during pregnancy you can practice opioid replacement therapy including medication-assisted therapy or opioid-assisted therapy. If you become opioid-dependent during pregnancy your baby will experience signs and symptoms like diarrhea, irritability, high-pitched cry, tremors, jitteriness, and poor sleep which often begin shortly after birth and might last days to weeks. This can be cured after weeks of hospitalization.