Taking Oxycontin While Pregnant: What You Need to Know

Is Oxycontin safe to take while pregnant?

OxyContin is a prescription medication given to patients to reduce their pain. It is classified as an opioid narcotic. OxyContin is one of the brand names for the opioid oxycodone.

If you are taking oxycontin and become pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant, set up a meeting with your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options. Generally, this medication is not recommended to be taken during pregnancy because it is an opioid. However, some women may need to take it if the benefits of OxyContin outweigh the potential risks. Your provider will be able to determine whether taking OxyContin while pregnant is beneficial for your situation.

If you are taking OxyContin and become pregnant, do not immediately stop your treatment. Talk to your doctor about tapering off your dose if you wish to stop taking OxyContin. Abruptly stopping your OxyContin treatment will put you at greater risk for OxyContin withdrawal. OxyContin withdrawal symptoms can negatively impact your health and the health of your baby. These symptoms include anxiety, irritation, restlessness, agitation, insomnia, muscle cramps, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure and more.

Taking Oxycontin While Pregnant: What You Need to Know
OxyContin affects a fetus and taking OxyContin while pregnant is not recommended, as the fetus may experience several different health issues if exposed to the opioid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, babies exposed to OxyContin in the womb are at higher risk of developing the following conditions: excessive fluid in the baby’s brain, glaucoma, a hole in the abdominal wall where the baby’s intestines stick out, incomplete closure of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord, and congenital heart defects such as ventricular and atrial septal defects, Tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary valve stenosis.

In addition to these health issues, babies whose mothers took OxyContin during pregnancy may develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Symptoms of NAS may include blotchy skin coloring, rapid breathing, stuffy nose, sneezing, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive crying, high-pitched crying, irritability, sleeping problems, excessive sucking, fever, hyperactive reflexes, pathologically increased muscle tone, tremors, seizures, poor feeding, and slow weight gain. If you notice these symptoms in your newborn baby, set up a meeting with your baby’s doctor. Often these symptoms can be misinterpreted as other medical issues.

The effects of taking OxyContin while pregnant has shown to affect babies when they reach toddler age, which is also an area of concern. Toddlers who were exposed to drugs in the womb had more issues with focus, behavior control, motor control and other developmental delays than those who were not exposed.

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