Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mother’s postpartum oxycodone use: No safer for breastfed infants than codeine, study suggests

Date:
September 6, 2011
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Doctors have been prescribing codeine for postpartum pain management for many years, and, until recently, it was considered safe to breastfeed while taking the opioid. But the death of an infant exposed to codeine through breast milk has many health care providers questioning the safety of the drug when used by breastfeeding mothers. Because of the potential risks, some doctors have begun the practice of prescribing oxycodone as an alternative to codeine; however, a new study finds that oxycodone is no safer for breastfed infants than codeine.

Doctors have been prescribing codeine for postpartum pain management for many years, and, until recently, it was considered safe to breastfeed while taking the opioid. But the death of an infant exposed to codeine through breast milk has many health care providers questioning the safety of the drug when used by breastfeeding mothers. Because of the potential risks, some doctors have begun the practice of prescribing oxycodone as an alternative to codeine; however, a new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that oxycodone is no safer for breastfed infants than codeine.

To estimate the risks to babies breastfed by mothers taking either codeine or oxycodone, Dr. Gideon Koren of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, and colleagues from institutions in both Canada and The Netherlands, pooled data from the Motherisk Program, a Teratology Information Center at SickKids that counsels women about the safety of using medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The researchers surveyed 533 women who had contacted the program with questions about using acetaminophen, codeine, or oxycodone for pain management while breastfeeding.

The mothers were asked to report their experiences with central nervous system (CNS) depression, as well as those of their infants, during the time they were taking one of the drugs and breastfeeding. According to Dr. Koren, "Typical symptoms of CNS depression include sleepiness, lethargy, and -- in the infant's case -- trouble breastfeeding." Of the 210 mothers who took codeine while breastfeeding, 16.7% reported symptoms of CNS depression in their child. Moreover, 20% of the 139 mothers who took oxycodone described these symptoms in their child. In contrast, only 0.5% of the 184 women who took acetaminophen while breastfeeding reported symptoms of CNS depression in their child. Additionally, mothers of symptomatic infants who took either codeine or oxycodone were significantly more likely to report CNS depression symptoms in themselves.

"The strong concordance between maternal and infant symptoms may be used to identify babies at higher risk of CNS depression," Dr. Koren notes. He suggests that health care providers should perform follow-up examinations on breastfed babies whose mothers are receiving either codeine or oxycodone, and he stresses that these drugs "cannot be considered safe during breastfeeding in all cases."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica Lam, Lauren Kelly, Catherine Ciszkowski, Marieke L.A. Landsmeer, Marieke Nauta, Bruce C. Carleton, Michael R. Hayden, Parvaz Madadi, Gideon Koren. Central Nervous System Depression of Neonates Breastfed by Mothers Receiving Oxycodone for Postpartum Analgesia. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.06.050

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Mother’s postpartum oxycodone use: No safer for breastfed infants than codeine, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906092627.htm>.
Elsevier. (2011, September 6). Mother’s postpartum oxycodone use: No safer for breastfed infants than codeine, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906092627.htm
Elsevier. "Mother’s postpartum oxycodone use: No safer for breastfed infants than codeine, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110906092627.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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