Buprenorphine for the Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
ABSTRACT: Objective: To summarize the available data for using buprenorphine in neonatal abstinence syndrome and discuss these data in context of the current standard of care therapies, oral morphine and oral methadone. Data Sources: A literature search was conducted using PubMed (1949-May 2018) and EMBASE (1980-May 2018). Combinations of the search terms “buprenorphine,” “neonatal,” and “neonatal abstinence syndrome” were used. Study Selection and Data Extraction: All full-length, English-language studies were included in this review. Data Synthesis: A total of 4 studies were included in this review including 1 retrospective cohort study, 2 prospective single-center open-label randomized trials, and 1 prospective single-center, double-blind study. Oral morphine was the comparator in 3 studies, and oral methadone was the comparator in one. Buprenorphine was associated with a significant reduction in duration of treatment in 3 of the 4 studies and was associated with a significant reduction in duration of hospital stay in 3 of the 4 studies. In the randomized, double-blinded trial, buprenorphine had a significantly reduced duration of treatment (15 vs 28 days, P < .001) and duration of hospital stay (21 vs 33 days, P < .001). The requirement of adjunct treatment was similar between groups in all 4 studies, and buprenorphine did not have any significant adverse reactions in comparison with morphine and methadone. Conclusions: Buprenorphine appears to be a safe option for treating neonatal abstinence syndrome that is potentially superior to the current standard of care therapies with respect to duration of treatment and hospital length of stay.
Project description:Current pharmacologic treatment of the neonatal abstinence syndrome with morphine is associated with a lengthy duration of therapy and hospitalization. Buprenorphine may be more effective than morphine for this indication.In this single-site, double-blind, double-dummy clinical trial, we randomly assigned 63 term infants (?37 weeks of gestation) who had been exposed to opioids in utero and who had signs of the neonatal abstinence syndrome to receive either sublingual buprenorphine or oral morphine. Infants with symptoms that were not controlled with the maximum dose of opioid were treated with adjunctive phenobarbital. The primary end point was the duration of treatment for symptoms of neonatal opioid withdrawal. Secondary clinical end points were the length of hospital stay, the percentage of infants who required supplemental treatment with phenobarbital, and safety.The median duration of treatment was significantly shorter with buprenorphine than with morphine (15 days vs. 28 days), as was the median length of hospital stay (21 days vs. 33 days) (P<0.001 for both comparisons). Adjunctive phenobarbital was administered in 5 of 33 infants (15%) in the buprenorphine group and in 7 of 30 infants (23%) in the morphine group (P=0.36). Rates of adverse events were similar in the two groups.Among infants with the neonatal abstinence syndrome, treatment with sublingual buprenorphine resulted in a shorter duration of treatment and shorter length of hospital stay than treatment with oral morphine, with similar rates of adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse; BBORN ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01452789 .).
Project description:Methadone, a full mu-opioid agonist, is the recommended treatment for opioid dependence during pregnancy. However, prenatal exposure to methadone is associated with a neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) characterized by central nervous system hyperirritability and autonomic nervous system dysfunction, which often requires medication and extended hospitalization. Buprenorphine, a partial mu-opioid agonist, is an alternative treatment for opioid dependence but has not been extensively studied in pregnancy.We conducted a double-blind, double-dummy, flexible-dosing, randomized, controlled study in which buprenorphine and methadone were compared for use in the comprehensive care of 175 pregnant women with opioid dependency at eight international sites. Primary outcomes were the number of neonates requiring treatment for NAS, the peak NAS score, the total amount of morphine needed to treat NAS, the length of the hospital stay for neonates, and neonatal head circumference.Treatment was discontinued by 16 of the 89 women in the methadone group (18%) and 28 of the 86 women in the buprenorphine group (33%). A comparison of the 131 neonates whose mothers were followed to the end of pregnancy according to treatment group (with 58 exposed to buprenorphine and 73 exposed to methadone) showed that the former group required significantly less morphine (mean dose, 1.1 mg vs. 10.4 mg; P<0.0091), had a significantly shorter hospital stay (10.0 days vs. 17.5 days, P<0.0091), and had a significantly shorter duration of treatment for the neonatal abstinence syndrome (4.1 days vs. 9.9 days, P<0.003125) (P values calculated in accordance with prespecified thresholds for significance). There were no significant differences between groups in other primary or secondary outcomes or in the rates of maternal or neonatal adverse events.These results are consistent with the use of buprenorphine as an acceptable treatment for opioid dependence in pregnant women. (Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00271219.).
Project description:To compare the profile of signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in methadone- versus buprenorphine-exposed infants.Secondary analysis of NAS data from a multi-site, double-blind, double-dummy, flexible-dosing, randomized clinical trial. Data from a total of 129 neonates born to opioid-dependent women who had been assigned to receive methadone or buprenorphine treatment during pregnancy were examined.For 10 days after delivery, neonates (methadone = 72, buprenorphine = 57) were assessed regularly using a 19-item modified Finnegan scale. Data from neonates who required pharmacological treatment (methadone = 41, buprenorphine = 27) were included up to the time treatment was initiated. The incidence and mean severity of the total NAS score and each individual sign of NAS were calculated and compared between medication conditions, as was the median time until morphine treatment initiation among treated infants in each condition.Two NAS signs (undisturbed tremors and hyperactive Moro reflex) were observed significantly more frequently in methadone-exposed neonates and three (nasal stuffiness, sneezing, loose stools) were observed more frequently in buprenorphine-exposed neonates. Mean severity scores on the total NAS score and five individual signs (disturbed and undisturbed tremors, hyperactive Moro reflex, excessive irritability, failure to thrive) were significantly higher among methadone-exposed neonates, while sneezing was higher among buprenorphine-exposed neonates. Among treated neonates, methadone-exposed infants required treatment significantly earlier than buprenorphine-exposed infants (36 versus 59 hours postnatal, respectively).The profile of neonatal abstinence syndrome differs in methadone- versus buprenorphine-exposed neonates, with significant differences in incidence, severity and treatment initiation time. Overall, methadone-exposed neonates have a more severe neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Project description:More than half of infants exposed to opioids in utero develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) of severity to require pharmacological therapy. Current treatments are associated with prolonged hospitalization. We sought to optimize the dose of sublingual buprenorphine in the treatment of NAS.Randomized, Phase 1, open-label, active-control clinical trial comparing sublingual buprenorphine to oral morphine.Large, urban, tertiary care hospital.Twenty-four term infants requiring pharmacological treatment for NAS.Outcomes were neonatal safety, length of treatment and length of hospitalization.Sublingual buprenorphine was safe and effective. Infants treated with buprenorphine had a 23-day length of treatment compared to 38 days for those treated with morphine (P = 0.01), representing a 40% reduction. Length of hospital stay in the buprenorphine group was reduced 24%, from 42 to 32 days (P = 0.05).Sublingual buprenorphine was safe in NAS, with a substantial efficacy advantage over standard of care therapy with oral morphine.
Project description:This paper reviews the published literature regarding outcomes following maternal treatment with buprenorphine in five areas: maternal efficacy, fetal effects, neonatal effects, effects on breast milk and longer-term developmental effects.Within each outcome area, findings are summarized first for the three randomized clinical trials and then for the 44 non-randomized studies (i.e. prospective studies, case reports and series and retrospective chart reviews), only 28 of which involve independent samples.Results indicate that maternal treatment with buprenorphine has comparable efficacy to methadone, although difficulties may exist with current buprenorphine induction methods. The available fetal data suggest buprenorphine results in less physiological suppression of fetal heart rate and movements than methadone. Regarding neonatal effects, perhaps the single definitive conclusion is that prenatal buprenorphine treatment results in a clinically significant less severe neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) than treatment with methadone. The limited research suggests that, like methadone, buprenorphine is compatible with breastfeeding. Data available thus far suggest that there are no deleterious effects of in utero buprenorphine exposure on infant development.While buprenorphine produces a less severe neonatal abstinence syndrome than methadone, both methadone and buprenorphine are important parts of a complete comprehensive treatment approach for opioid-dependent pregnant women.
Project description:The relationship between cigarette smoking and neonatal and maternal clinical outcomes among opioid-agonist-treated pregnant patients is sparse.(1) Is smoking measured at study entry related to neonatal and maternal outcomes in pregnant women receiving opioid-agonist medication? (2) Is it more informative to use a multi-item measure of smoking dependence or a single-item measure of daily smoking? (3) Is the relationship between smoking at study entry and outcomes different between methadone and buprenorphine?Secondary analyses examined the ability of the tobacco dependence screener (TDS) and self-reported past 30-day daily average number of cigarettes smoked, both measured at study entry, to predict 12 neonatal and 9 maternal outcomes in 131 opioid-agonist-maintained pregnant participants.Past 30-day daily average number of cigarettes smoked was significantly positively associated with total amount of morphine (mg) needed to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=1.06 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.09), number of days medicated for NAS, AOR=1.04 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.06), neonatal length of hospital stay in days, AOR=1.03 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.05), and negatively associated with 1-AOR=.995 (95% CI: .991,.999) and 5-min Apgar scores, AOR=.996 (95% CI: .994,.998). Simple effect tests of the two significant TDS×medication condition effects found TDS was unrelated to non-normal presentation and amount of voucher money earned in the methadone [AORs=.90 (95% CI: .74, 1.08, p>.24) and 1.0 (95% CI: .97, 1.03, p>.9)] but significant in the buprenorphine condition [AORs=1.57 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.45, p<.05) and 1.08 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.12, p<.01)].Regardless of prenatal methadone or buprenorphine exposure, heavier cigarette smoking was associated with more compromised birth outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Our objective was to estimate the association between methadone and neonatal abstinence syndrome compared with buprenorphine using a probabilistic bias analysis to account for unmeasured confounding by severity of addiction. METHODS:We used a cohort of live-born infants exposed in utero to methadone or buprenorphine for maternal opioid maintenance therapy at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, from 2013 to 2015 (n = 716). We determined exposure and outcome status using pharmacy billing claims. We used log-binomial regression models to assess association of treatment with neonatal abstinence syndrome after adjusting for parity, maternal race, age, delivery year, employment, hepatitis c, smoking, marital, and insurance status. We implemented probabilistic bias analysis, informed by an internal validation study, to assess the impact of unmeasured confounding by severity of addiction. RESULTS:Infants exposed to methadone in utero were more likely to experience neonatal abstinence syndrome compared with those exposed to buprenorphine (RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2, 1.5). After adjustment, infants exposed to methadone were more likely (adjusted RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1, 1.5) than infants exposed to buprenorphine to have the syndrome. In the validation cohort (n = 200), severe addiction was more common in methadone- versus buprenorphine-exposed deliveries (77% vs. 32%). However, adjustment for severe addiction in the bias analysis only slightly attenuated the association (RR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0, 1.4), supporting conventional analysis. CONCLUSIONS:Methadone is associated with increased risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome compared with buprenorphine in infants exposed in utero. This association is subject to minimal bias due to unmeasured confounding by severity of addiction.
Project description:Importance:Although opioids are used to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the best pharmacologic treatment has not been established. Objective:To compare the safety and efficacy of methadone and morphine in NAS. Design, Setting, and Participants:In this randomized, double-blind, intention-to-treat trial, term infants from 8 US newborn units whose mothers received buprenorphine, methadone, or opioids for pain control during pregnancy were eligible. A total of 117 infants were randomized to receive methadone or morphine from February 9, 2014, to March 6, 2017. Mothers who declined randomization could consent to data collection and standard institutional treatment. Interventions:Infants were assessed with the Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring System every 4 hours and treated with methadone or placebo every 4 hours or morphine every 4 hours. Infants with persistently elevated Finnegan scores received dose increases. Infants who exceeded a predetermined opioid dose received phenobarbital. Dose reductions occurred every 12 to 48 hours when signs of NAS were controlled with therapy, stopping at 20% of the original dose. Main Outcomes and Measures:The primary end point was length of hospital stay (LOS). The secondary end points were LOS attributable to NAS and length of drug treatment (LOT). Results:A total of 183 mothers consented to have their infants in the study; 117 infants required treatment. Because 1 parent withdrew consent, data were analyzed on 116 infants (mean [SD] gestational age, 39.1 [1.1] weeks; mean [SD] birth weight, 3157  g; 58 [50%] male). Demographic variables and risk factors were similar except for more prenatal cigarette exposure in infants who received methadone. Adjusting for study site and maternal opioid type, methadone was associated with decreased mean number of days for LOS by 14% (relative number of days, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.74-1.00; P = .046), corresponding to a difference of 2.9 days; 14% reduction in LOS attributable to NAS (relative number of days, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77-0.96; P = .01), corresponding to a difference of 2.7 days; and 16% reduction in LOT (relative number of days, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.73-0.97; P = .02), corresponding to a difference of 2.3 days. Methadone was also associated with reduced median LOS (16 vs 20 days, P = .005), LOS attributable to NAS (16 vs 19 days, P = .005), and LOT (11.5 vs 15 days, P = .009). Study infants had better short-term outcomes than 170 nonrandomized infants treated with morphine per standard institutional protocols. Conclusions and Relevance:With use of weight- and sign-based treatment for NAS, short-term outcomes were better in infants receiving methadone compared with morphine. Assessment of longer-term outcomes is ongoing. Trial Registration:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01958476.
Project description:Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) which is observed in 55-94% of the newborns from opioids-taking mothers produces deleterious neurological symptoms. Various pharmacological therapies have been investigated in neonates with NAS. This article reviews all studies on NAS treatment to analyze the duration of treatment, length of hospitalization and possible drug adverse effects. The search was limited to the randomized clinical trials which examined the treatments of neonates with NAS. Scientific databases including PubMed, Cochrane Library, ISI Web of Science, Embase and Scopus were systematically searched. Retrieved articles were reviewed by two researchers and evaluated using the JADAD scoring system. Finally, the treatment duration, hospitalization length and drug side-effects were extracted. Methadone, buprenorphine and clonidine were found more effective than morphine. Diluted tincture of opium (DTO) in combination with phenobarbital or clonidine was significantly more effective than DTO alone. Clonidine was a significantly better adjunctive therapy than phenobarbital in reducing morphine treatment days. No significant difference was observed between morphine and DTO effectiveness. Deciding the optimal regimen to manage symptomatic NAS, as a single or an adjunct therapy is not possible based on the literature, due to the low quality, small size and short-term treatment considered in the published studies. Graphical abstract Process of selecting trials included in the present systematic review.
Project description:Background:Opiate addiction is a major health problem in many countries. A crucial component of the medical treatment is the management of highly aversive opiate withdrawal signs, which may otherwise lead to resumption of drug taking. In a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone and buprenorphine have been implemented as substitution drugs. Despite MAT effectiveness, there are still limitations and side effects of using methadone and buprenorphine. Thus, other alternative therapies with less side effects, overdosing, and co-morbidities are desired. One of the potential pharmacotherapies may involve kratom's major indole alkaloid, mitragynine, since kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) preparations have been reported to alleviate opiate withdrawal signs in self-treatment in Malaysian opiate addicts. Methods:Based on the morphine withdrawal model, rats were morphine treated with increasing doses from 10 to 50 mg/kg twice daily over a period of 6 days. The treatment was discontinued on day 7 in order to induce a spontaneous morphine abstinence. The withdrawal signs were measured daily after 24 h of the last morphine administration over a period of 28 abstinence days. In rats that developed withdrawal signs, a drug replacement treatment was given using mitragynine, methadone, or buprenorphine and the global withdrawal score was evaluated. Results:The morphine withdrawal model induced profound withdrawal signs for 16 days. Mitragynine (5-30 mg/kg; i.p.) was able to attenuate acute withdrawal signs in morphine dependent rats. On the other hand, smaller doses of methadone (0.5-2 mg/kg; i.p.) and buprenorphine (0.4-1.6 mg/kg; i.p.) were necessary to mitigate these effects. Conclusions:These data suggest that mitragynine may be a potential drug candidate for opiate withdrawal treatment.