Taking Oxycet While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
Is Oxycet safe to take while pregnant?
Oxycet is a combination medication containing oxycodone, a narcotic pain reliever, and acetaminophen, an over-the-counter pain reliever that enhances the strength of oxycodone. The medication is given to help treat moderate to severe pain and has a high risk of substance abuse.
Many women need to take prescription pain medications during their pregnancy and often wonder if it’s safe to take opioids like Oxycet while pregnant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration places medications into five categories that rank the safety and potential risks for birth defects for a fetus; the categories are A (no potential risks), B, C, D, and X being the highest risk. Oxycet is listed as category C, meaning that studies show a potential risk for adverse health effects, however, the risks may be worth it if it ensures overall fetal safety. The potential risk lies in the lack of research on human subjects. Although there animal research has been done and found Oxycet to have adverse effects on the fetus, these cannot be confirmed in human studies.
Oxycet has a high risk for misuse and addiction, so it’s important for a pregnant woman to discuss the risks and benefits with their doctor before continuing the drug.
The way oxycet affects a fetus depends on the trimester, or stage, of pregnancy. The first trimester, which ends on the last day of week 12, is the stage in which a baby’s internal organs and body are formed, and it’s within the first 12 weeks that drugs are more likely to cause abnormalities. Other factors that contribute to fetal complications are frequency and duration of use, dosage, and mixing substances.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that linked some of the following defects with opioid use during pregnancy:
- Gastroschisis (hole in the baby’s abdominal wall)
- Hydrocephaly (large amounts of fluid in a baby’s brain)
- Heart abnormalities such as ventricular and atrial septal defects and pulmonary valve stenosis
- Spina bifida
Heart defects are more likely to occur with opioid use during pregnancy. Studies also reveal that mothers who use opioids frequently during their pregnancy have a higher risk of premature birth and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Symptoms of NAS may include tremors, irritability, sleeping problems, high-pitched crying, tight muscle tone, hyperactive reflexes, seizures, yawning, stuffy nose, sneezing, vomiting, poor feeding and suck, diarrhea, dehydration, sweating, fever, and unstable temperature. Be sure to report to your baby’s doctor right away if these symptoms become noticeable, as some cases of NAS have been lethal.
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If oxycet is taken frequently throughout the pregnancy or during the last few weeks, a baby will experience NAS, fetal withdrawal symptoms, after birth. Babies that are born with NAS have an increased risk for seizures, lower birth weight, and respiratory complications.
If a baby has a seizure shortly after birth it may lead to life-long complications. It’s best for pregnant women to avoid opioid use.
Although some doctors will allow pregnant women to continue their prescription if taken as directed, some do not want to risk the safety of their baby. The use of a cold compress is a great way to relieve a headache and sometimes other pains. Many doctors will tell their patients to take weaker, over-the-counter versions of pain relief medications.
If you are currently addicted to Oxycet and become pregnant, seek a rehabilitation program as soon as possible. The Recovery Village has either inpatient or outpatient Oxycet for patients to choose from. In the inpatient program, patients will live at The Recovery Village’s designated inpatient centers while attending therapy. Once they finish inpatient, they will begin outpatient Oxycet rehab. This program, which can be started first by those with less severe Oxycet addiction, allows patients to live at home while they come to The Recovery Village for their therapy sessions.
Before starting rehab, you may want to look into a medically assisted detoxification program. This type of program allows Oxycet addiction patients a safe place to detox from the medication. In addition, patients can take their questions regarding Oxycet withdrawal management to medically trained staffers.
Recovering from your addiction is extremely important, especially for expecting mothers, as the newborn will depend on you once you give birth. You will want to be a good role model for your child, and this requires being as drug-free as possible. To help sustain your sobriety, enroll in an ongoing therapy program. This type of program is a good idea, as relapse is always possible.
Oxycet addiction is dangerous. If you are pregnant and are battling a substance use disorder, do not hesitate to seek professional help. The Recovery Village has safe treatment plans for all patients and offers constant support and advice. Call our confidential, toll-free hotline at 855-548-9825 to learn more.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.