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Is Subutex Safe to Take When Pregnant?


Pregnancy can be a wonderful and exciting adventure. It can also be frightening, difficult, and worrying, especially if it is unexpected or comes at a difficult time in your life. Perhaps you have been thinking about getting clean and seeking help for your opioid addiction and finding out that you are pregnant has spurred you to start treatment. If that is the case, you were probably offered Subutex as a potential treatment and you are probably worried about how your addiction and treatment will affect your baby. The best thing you can do is seek help from medical professionals who have experience helping women in situations similar to yours.

To help you in your treatment and keep you baby safe, your doctors may prescribe you Subutex. Subutex contains buprenorphine which blocks opiate receptors in the brain, helps to reduce urges, and staves off withdrawal symptoms. Staving off withdrawal symptoms is critically important for your health and your baby’s during your pregnancy. Doctors will most likely keep you on Subutex throughout your pregnancy as well as after you give birth. Your baby will receive further medical treatment which will help taper it off opioids immediately following birth.

Is Subutex Safe For Unborn Babies?

That is probably your primary question. Currently the FDA has labeled Subutex as a “C” class substance. This means that it is unknown if Subutex will severely harm unborn babies, or if it can contribute to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which can cause low birth rate, developmental challenges, and birth defects in babies. However, recent studies conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that it is safe for you and your baby. These studies have shown that Subutex is safer for your child than the traditional treatment of methadone. Both methadone and Subutex treatments during pregnancy have similar effects on key indicators of neonatal health. However, because Subutex is a partial opioid, it causes milder symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal, leading to a shorter recovery time for your baby.            

If you are nervous about trying Subutex, talk to your doctors about the options available to you. Seeking some form of treatment is the best thing you can do for yourself and your baby.

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