Navigation Links
Taking Codeine While Breast-Feeding May Harm Infant

Nervous systems of babies of women with certain genotype more affected, study finds

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding moms who take medicines containing codeine may be unwittingly risking the health of their infant, new Canadian research suggests.

The study indicates that a relatively rare genetic predisposition causes some women to metabolize codeine-laced drugs into morphine far faster than normal -- possibly harming the infant's central nervous system in the process.

In such cases, the threat of a morphine overdose appears to be reversible if the woman stops taking the medication. However, for mothers with the genetic vulnerability, the unabated ingestion of codeine and gradual build-up of morphine in a baby's system can prompt extreme sleepiness, abnormal breathing, and even death, the researchers warned.

The finding echoes a public health advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007.

"Codeine itself doesn't have any pain-relieving effects, but our body changes it into morphine, and that's what combats the pain," explained study author Parvaz Madadi, a doctoral candidate in the department of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, in Canada.

"The problem is that your genetic makeup makes more or less of it," she noted. "So this is where the risk lies, because you can't know in advance what that predisposition would be, unless you would do a genetic test, which is not standard routine at this point. So while it would not be a problem in all cases, I would say that codeine cannot be considered a safe drug for some mothers who are breast-feeding their infants."

Madadi and a team of Canadian researchers published the findings in the Aug. 20 online issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

The study authors pointed out that pain-relief medications are commonly prescribed for new mothers, given that almost half of all babies are delivered by either Caesarean section or episiotomy.

Given that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends codeine as "compatible" with breast-feeding, and given that an estimated 80 percent of North American mothers breast-feed, Madadi and her colleagues calculate that upwards of 40 percent of all new mothers may be breast-feeding while consuming codeine for post-delivery pain.

Among that group, the researchers noted that between 1 percent and 10 percent of mothers with white European ancestry appear to have the risky genetic variant that causes morphine overproduction. Prior research indicates that the figure might be higher for other ethnicities.

Madadi noted that the current research effort was launched following the death of a Canadian infant due to the excessive ingestion -- following 12 days of breast-feeding -- of codeine-produced morphine.

In that instance, the mother, who was prescribed codeine-containing painkillers following an episiotomy, was later found to have the problematic genotype.

To explore the issue, the research team analyzed DNA samples collected from 72 mothers across Canada who consumed post-delivery codeine between 2004 and 2007. All the women also participated in a telephone survey to gauge the health of the mother and the central nervous system of the child -- both before, during and after codeine consumption.

Nearly one-quarter of the infants exhibited some central nervous system depression -- manifested by reduced alertness -- while breast-feeding during maternal codeine ingestion.

Among this group, mothers were found to have consumed, on average, almost 60 percent more codeine than mothers with healthy babies. This led the team to conclude, in fact, that excessive codeine consumption while breast-feeding can compromise a baby's health, whether or not the mother is one of the relatively few affected by a genetic predisposition to overproduce morphine.

But when honing in on the genetic front, the researchers indeed found that two mothers of symptomatic children carried the problematic genetic predisposition. In these two instances, the child's reaction to codeine consumption was particularly severe, with one baby ultimately dying as a result.

Julie Kable, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said that the work represents "the wave of the future in science.

"The basic nature of this finding does not surprise me, given that this is where science is going, with a huge effort being made to better understand the interaction of one's genes with exposure to various substances. And it's not unheard of for this kind of science to lead to an altering of ob/gyn practice. It should be said, for example, that it wasn't so long ago -- in the 60s and 70s -- that women were actually given alcohol to stop premature labor. So, the possibility that this is true does create a burden to do the appropriate testing before we make such prescriptions."

More information

For more on codeine consumption and breast-feeding, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

SOURCES: Parvaz Madadi, Ph.D. candidate, department of physiology and pharmacology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada; Julie Kable, Ph.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Aug. 20, 2008, Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, online

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. AIDS Action Committee Applauds Legislature for Taking Action to Protect Patient Privacy Within New Electronic Medical Records System
2. Scientists race to stay ahead of the drug-taking and genetic manipulation that threatens sport
3. Taking Control: Future Therapies for a Host of Serious Diseases May Be Found in Womens Menstrual Blood
4. Taking care of business shouldnt be just for men
5. New Survey Reveals Hispanic-Americans Are Taking Steps to Better Understand and Manage GERD
6. Breathtaking New Campaign for Asthma Awareness Presents an Unsettling View of the Diseases Effects
7. Nearly 40 Percent of GERD Patients Taking PPIs Experience Recurring Symptoms
8. Nearly 40 percent of GERD patients taking PPIs experience recurring symptoms
9. Taking on Britains sick note culture
10. Health Clubs Open Doors Free for 5th Annual Get Active America! Campaign, Taking a Stand on Prevention and Becoming Gateway to Healthy Living
11. Cardiac Screening Recommended for Kids Taking Stimulants for ADHD
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Taking Codeine While Breast-Feeding May Harm Infant
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... direct sauna parts and accessories. , Sauna accessories help improve the bather experience ... and personality. From basic styles for the purist looking for simplicity in design ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its ... The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion ... International was founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, ... center for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery ... Narconon organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the ... While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of ... suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ... Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of ... and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> --> ... of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... (BLA) with the United States ... a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen ... submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA ... E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president of Research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MINNEAPOLIS , Nov. 25, 2015  ARKRAY ... care products, continues to provide evidence demonstrating the accuracy ... the World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular ... showed that both the Company,s GLUCOCARD ® 01 ... met high accuracy requirements. The ability to accurately measure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: