Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cocaine And Heroin Harm Placenta

Date:
June 12, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Cocaine and heroin increase permeability of the placenta. Researchers have shown that exposure to the drugs causes an increase in the passage of some chemicals into the fetus.

Cocaine and heroin increase permeability of the placenta. Researchers have shown that exposure to the drugs causes an increase in the passage of some chemicals into the fetus.

Antoine Malek led a team of researchers from Zurich University Hospital's Department of Obstetrics, who used a perfusion technique to study human placental tissue function in the lab. They found that exposure to cocaine and/or heroin in the presence of methadone increased transfer of a test chemical called antipyrine across the organ. Malek said, "As the consumption of illegal drugs, especially cocaine, is increasing in many countries, our results concerning cocaine and heroin causing an increased antipyrine transfer may improve the practical management in monitoring pregnant women".

As complete abstinence is impossible for many people addicted to drugs who become pregnant, maintenance treatment with methadone is often used to limit damage to the developing child. However, methadone itself can also be dangerous, too much fetal exposure leading to harmful withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Malek and his colleagues sought to investigate the effects cocaine and heroin on the placenta. They found that while the narcotics didn't increase transfer of methadone, they did allow transfer of other test substances. This suggests the barrier function of the placenta may be compromised. According to Malek "More toxic substances or bacteria and viruses may cross the placenta and harm the fetus. Previous studies have reported increased prevalence of infectious diagnoses in cocaine-exposed infants".

These results emphasise the fact that pregnant drug users who can't abstain completely must attempt to exclusively use methadone. Combining it with other drugs could cause extra harm to their child.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Antoine Malek, Cristina Obrist, Silvana Wenzinger and Ursula von Mandach. The impact of cocaine and heroin on the placental transfer of methadone. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Cocaine And Heroin Harm Placenta." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610192426.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, June 12). Cocaine And Heroin Harm Placenta. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610192426.htm
BioMed Central. "Cocaine And Heroin Harm Placenta." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610192426.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins