Navigation Links
Drug that helps adults addicted to opioid drugs also relieves withdrawal symptoms in newborns
Date:10/6/2010

(PHILADELPHIA) - Thousands of infants each year have exposure to opioids before they are born. Over half of these infants are born with withdrawal symptoms severe enough to require opioid replacement treatment in the nursery. Such treatment is associated with long hospital stays which interferes with maternal/infant bonding. Now, a team of researchers at Thomas Jefferson University has tested a semi-synthetic opioid they say has the potential to improve the treatment of these newborns, which could save hundreds of millions in healthcare costs annually if future tests continue to show benefit.

In the October 6th online issue of Addiction, the researchers say that using buprenorphine in a dozen addicted infants was both safe and successful and reduced days of treatment by 40 percent, compared to use of morphine in 12 other infants randomized to this treatment. The difference was 23 days of treatment versus 38 days.

"Given further study, such a beneficial drug could provide a new standard of treatment in a field where a well-defined therapeutic approach doesn't exist," says the study's lead author, Walter Kraft, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson.

"Not only do we think buprenorphine is an excellent choice to treat neonatal opioid withdrawal, but it may prove to also be cost effective," he says. "There are not good numbers to work with but we estimate up to 16,000 infants each year are at risk for the syndrome. If you assume the costs for this treatment are $2,000 a day over an average 30 days of hospitalization, annual charges for this treatment can be up to $1 billion."

"If we were to reduce hospital stay by just 20 percent, that would save $150 million," Dr. Kraft adds.

The investigative team, which includes experts in neonatology, addictions, clinical pharmacology and pediatric neurology are the first physicians to test buprenorphine in newborns. Buprenorphine is finding increased use in the treatment of adults with opioid dependence.

In infants, the agent was given sublingually under the tongue and to keep it there until it is absorbed, the physicians gave the babies pacifiers to suck. "This is the only report of a sublingual drug ever used in infants," Kraft says.

Many of the mothers of the infants receive care at the Family Center, which cares for the majority of pregnant opioid-addicted women in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Kraft says. The program is directed by co-author Karol Kaltenbach, Ph.D., who is a internationally known expert in the treatment of pregnant women with addiction.

In 2008, the research team published results from their first cohort using buprenorphine in infants. In this study, they enrolled 24 infants, half randomized to buprenorphine and half to standard of care oral morphine. The investigators found that infants treated with buprenorphine had a 23-day length of treatment, compared to 38 days for those treated with morphine. Length of hospital stay in the buprenorphine group was 32 days versus 42 in infants treated with morphine.

"They say that to truly know if buprenorphine is a better treatment for these infants, it will be necessary to conduct a double-blind randomized study in which physicians do not know which treatment has been administered. We are not using buprenorphine in infants who need treatment until we conduct this final step," Dr. Kraft says. "It is important to do the study in the most rigorous way possible, to prove the benefit of the therapy. We are currently in the planning stages of such a study."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rick Cushman
richard.cushman@jefferson.edu
215-955-2240
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. MSU scientists find new gene that helps plants beat the heat
2. Extreme nature helps scientists design nano materials
3. Diatom genome helps explain success in trapping excess carbon in oceans
4. Waste from gut bacteria helps host control weight, UT Southwestern researchers report
5. Swamping bad cells with good in ALS animal models helps sustain breathing
6. Boost from McGill, Gates Foundation helps Africans control pharma research
7. Study helps clarify role of soil microbes in global warming
8. New book helps medical students master clinical skills
9. New research helps explain genetics of Parkinsons disease
10. Exercise helps overweight children reduce anger expression
11. Tool helps identify gene function in soybeans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung ... global partnership that will provide end customers with a ... and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former ... of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June ... UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Wausau, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... probiotic supplements, is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, ... supplements for over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: