Is Methadone Safe to Use During Pregnancy?
If you have been on a Methadone maintenance program to overcome addiction and found out that you are pregnant you may be wondering: is Methadone safe to use during pregnancy? For more than 25 years pregnant women have been treated with Methadone and there is little evidence to show that it has been directly linked to birth defects, although it is possible that the baby could experience some side effects from Methadone. The most common Methadone side effects in babies include low birth weight, smaller than normal head size and withdrawal symptoms.
Talk with your Doctor
It is important to keep in mind that whatever you experience, your baby will experience as well. That means that if you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms, so does your baby. Unfortunately there is no set number for the dose that will reduce the chance of cravings or withdrawal. Ob-Gyn and neonatal care nurses stress the importance of communicating with the doctor about any changes you experience – for your health and the health of your baby.
Will Methadone Use Make your Baby an Addict?
Many women are concerned that continuing Methadone maintenance during pregnancy will make their baby an addict. There have been no studies to show where the mother’s use of Methadone during pregnancy had a direct impact on the child developing an addiction later. There are so many different variables to consider on why an individual develops substance use. There is a genetic component in addiction research which means that if there is a family history of substance use, there is a greater risk for the child developing substance use problems.
Tapering Off Methadone during Pregnancy
If you are considering tapering off Methadone during pregnancy, most physicians advise against it. In fact in most cases even if the individual was in a tapering program, the physician will likely stop tapering and keep the patient at the current dose until after the baby is born. If you are determined to taper off Methadone during pregnancy, it is best done in an inpatient medical detox facility where the baby can be monitored.
Methadone Detox at Home during Pregnancy
Trying to quit cold turkey or detox from Methadone use at home, especially while you are pregnant is strongly discouraged because it can be very dangerous for you and the baby. Withdrawal symptoms will likely begin within a few hours (or less) from the last time Methadone was used and can be very severe. If you are adamant about quitting Methadone use, talk to your doctor about inpatient medical detox. If you have concerns about whether or not Methadone is safe to use during pregnancy or have questions about inpatient medical detox, call Gallus Detox Center today at 855-338-6929. Our admission team specialists can help you find a solution for you and your baby.