Managing opioid dependence in pregnancy: A general practice perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Managing opioid dependence in pregnant women is a complex and potentially challenging task. Drug-dependent women may be difficult to engage in antenatal care and opioid substitution requires careful dose titration. Pregnancy, however, can be an opportune time to effect behaviour change, and supporting an opioiddependent woman through pregnancy can be a rewarding clinical experience. Objectives: This article provides an overview of treatment principles for managing opioid dependence in pregnancy, and reviews current treatment guidelines for use of opioid-substitution therapy in pregnant women. Discussion: The management of opioid dependence during pregnancy requires holistic and comprehensive assessment and referral to specialist services is often appropriate. Specific issues that may need to be addressed include decision-making regarding the choice of opioid-substitution therapy and the potential for neonatal abstinence syndrome in the newborn. General practitioners are often well placed to support and coordinate care of their opioid-dependent pregnant patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-716
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Obstetrics/pregnancy
  • Opioid dependence
  • Substance-related disorder

Cite this