Infumorph While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Infumorph is a prescription pain medication. The generic ingredient in this injectable medication is called morphine sulfate. Infumorph is intended to be taken for the treatment of severe, chronic pain. Since Infumorph is an opioid narcotic, it works to change the way the body senses pain signals. It is also effective by changing how the body experiences pain, thereby altering the overall emotional response to pain. Infumorph is only intended to be provided to patients in a clinical or hospital environment. It’s administered as an injection, such as in an epidural, by a professional healthcare provider. Side effects of Infumorph are similar to symptoms of other opioids. Common symptoms may include nausea, itchiness, drowsiness, and constipation. Infumorph can cause significant respiratory depression due to its effects on the central nervous system.
Infumorph can interact with many other medications. These medicines can include antidepressants and other central nervous system depressants. If someone takes Infumorph with another CNS depressant, the risk of fatal respiratory depression is significant. Infumorph and other opioids have a high likelihood of addiction and dependence, as well. Even though Infumorph and other opioid pain medications are schedule II controlled substances in the U.S., they still find their way to the streets after being diverted from medical use. The effects of the opioid epidemic and the staggering rates of opioid use in the U.S. are far-reaching.
What about taking Infumorph while pregnant? There are a few different scenarios where a woman might decide to take Infumorph while pregnant. The first could be recreationally. Unfortunately, because of the highly addictive nature of opioid narcotics, some women take them recreationally during pregnancy. If a woman were in the hospital for some reason, a doctor might administer Infumorph as well, although that would be rare. Sometimes opioids might be administered during labor and delivery, although that is also fairly rare. If a woman is recreationally taking Infumorph, this represents the most significant danger for her unborn baby. If by some chance Infumorph was administered for pain during labor and delivery, it could cause some respiratory depression in the baby, but it wouldn’t cause birth defects.
Infumorph and other prescription opioids are classified as category C drugs during pregnancy. Category C drugs aren’t considered fully safe or unsafe during pregnancy. There is a potential for harm to a fetus if a category C drug is taken during pregnancy. This is especially true if it’s during the first trimester when major organ development is occurring. First, if opioids are taken close to delivery, a baby may be born with respiratory issues. There are other complications associated with prolonged and ongoing opioid use during pregnancy. For example, there is a risk of preterm labor and birth, fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia. There’s also the risk of miscarriage. Certain birth defects are more likely if a baby is exposed to opioids in the womb. These include neural tube defects like spina bifida and certain congenital heart defects.
However, even though there are possible risks of taking Infumorph during pregnancy, it shouldn’t be suddenly stopped, either. If a woman is dependent on opioids and becomes pregnant, she should speak with her doctor about what to do. Stopping opioids abruptly can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal during pregnancy can lead to serious complications like placental abruption and heavy bleeding. It can also increase the chance of a miscarriage. A doctor may advise that a pregnant woman slowly taper down her dosage of an opioid like Infumorph, rather than suddenly stopping treatment.
If a pregnant woman takes opioids like Infumorph, her baby may become dependent on them in the womb. A baby dependent on Infumorph will then likely experience withdrawal symptoms after birth, which is called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The severity of NAS symptoms depends on factors like how long the mother was exposed to the substance, how often and how close to delivery it was taken. Symptoms of NAS related to opioids can include irritability, excessive, high-pitched crying. Problems with sleeping and eating often occur, as do exaggerated reflexes, tremors, jitteriness, and diarrhea. Babies with NAS symptoms sometimes have to receive specialized care and remain hospitalized for several weeks
More than likely a doctor wouldn’t recommend Infumorph to treat a pregnant woman. However, that is up to your healthcare provider since it’s category C. If you’re dependent on opioids and you recreationally take Infumorph, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. There are options available to stop taking Infumorph while pregnant, such as a medically-supervised detox program. During a medically-supervised detox, it’s possible to help pregnant women safely stop taking opioids. A woman dependent on opioids might also consider addiction treatment.
To learn more about opioid addiction treatment and medically-supervised detox programs, contact The Recovery Village. Recovery isn’t always easy, but the team at The Recovery Village will be with you every step of the way.
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