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1.  A Comparison of Cigarette Smoking Profiles in Opioid-Dependent Pregnant Patients Receiving Methadone or Buprenorphine 
Nicotine & Tobacco Research  2013;15(7):1297-1304.
Little is known about the relationship between cigarette smoking and agonist treatment in opioid-dependent pregnant patients. The objective of this study is to examine the extent to which cigarette smoking profiles differentially changed during the course of pregnancy in opioid-dependent patients receiving either double-blind methadone or buprenorphine. Patients were participants in the international, randomized controlled Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental Research (MOTHER) study.
A sample of opioid-maintained pregnant patients (18–41 years old) with available smoking data who completed a multisite, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized controlled trial of methadone (n = 67) and buprenorphine (n = 57) between 2005 and 2008. Participants were compared on smoking variables based on opioid agonist treatment condition.
Overall, 95% of the sample reported cigarette smoking at treatment entry. Participants in the two medication conditions were similar on pretreatment characteristics including smoking rates and daily cigarette amounts. Over the course of the pregnancy, no meaningful changes in cigarette smoking were observed for either medication condition. The fitted difference in change in adjusted cigarettes per day between the two conditions was small and nonsignificant (β = −0.08, SE = 0.05, p = .132).
Results support high rates of smoking with little change during pregnancy among opioid-dependent patients, regardless of the type of agonist medication received. These findings are consistent with evidence that suggests nicotine effects, and interactions may be similar for buprenorphine compared with methadone. The outcomes further highlight that aggressive efforts are needed to reduce/eliminate smoking in opioid-dependent pregnant women.
PMCID: PMC3682847  PMID: 23288871
2.  Peripartum pain management in opioid dependent women 
Increased pain sensitivity and the development of opioid tolerance complicate the treatment of pain experienced by opioid maintained pregnant women during delivery and the perinatal period. The aim of the present study was to investigate differences in pain management of opioid maintained compared to non-dependent pregnant women during delivery and the postpartum period. 40 deliveries of 37 opioid dependent women enrolled in a double-blind, double-dummy randomized controlled trial (RCT) examining the safety and efficacy of methadone (mean dose at the time of delivery = 63.89 mg) and buprenorphine (mean dose at the time of delivery = 14.05 mg) during pregnancy were analyzed and participants were matched to a non-dependent comparison group of 80 pregnant women. Differences in pain management (opioid and non-opioid analgesic medication) during delivery and perinatal period were analyzed. Following cesarean delivery opioid maintained women received significantly less opioid analgesics (day of delivery p = 0.038; day 1: p = 0.02), NSAIDs were administered more frequently to opioid dependent patients than to the comparison group during cesarean section and on the third day postpartum. Significantly higher nicotine consumption in the group of opioid dependent women had a strong influence on the retrieved results, and might be considered as an independent factor of altered pain experience. Differences in pain treatment became evident when comparing opioid maintained women to healthy controls. These differences might be based on psychosocial consequences of opioid addiction along with the lack of an interdisciplinary consensus on pain treatment protocols for opioid dependent patients.
PMCID: PMC3290684  PMID: 22396085
pain; opioid dependence; pregnancy; NSAIDs; methadone; buprenorphine
3.  Influence of Site Differences between Urban and Rural American and Central European Opioid-Dependent Pregnant Women and Neonatal Outcome Characteristics 
European Addiction Research  2012;18(3):130-139.
Multi-center trials enable the recruitment of larger study samples, although results might be influenced by site-specific factors.
Site differences of a multi-center prospective double-blind, double-dummy randomized controlled trial (7 centers: Central Europe (Vienna)/USA (3 urban/3 rural centers)) comparing safety and efficacy of methadone and buprenorphine in pregnant opioid-dependent women and their neonates.
Urban US women had the highest rate of concomitant opioid (p = 0.050) and cocaine consumption (p = 0.003), the highest dropout rate (p = 0.001), and received the lowest voucher sums (p = 0.001). Viennese neonates had significantly higher Apgar scores 1 min (p = 0.001) and 5 min after birth (p < 0.001) and were more often born by cesarean section (p = 0.024). Rural US newborns had a significantly shorter neonatal abstinence syndrome treatment duration compared to Viennese and urban US sites (p = 0.006), in addition to other site-specific differences, suggesting a more severely affected group of women in the urban US sites.
This clinical trial represents a role model for pharmacological treatment in this unique sample of pregnant women and demonstrates the clinical importance of considering site-specific factors in research and clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC3696360  PMID: 22354163
Opioid dependence; Pregnancy; Methadone; Buprenorphine; Maternal and neonatal outcome; Regional disparities
4.  Are male neonates more vulnerable to neonatal abstinence syndrome than female neonates? 
Gender medicine  2011;8(6):355-364.
Prior studies have shown an increased vulnerability among males, to adverse outcomes during the postnatal period. The majority of children exposed to opioids and other medication in utero develop a neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), yet individual predisposition for NAS is poorly understood. This investigation examines the role of neonatal sex in the postnatal period, for neonates exposed to standardized opioid maintenance treatment in utero with a focus on the neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) regarding severity, medication requirements and duration.
Patients and Methods
This is a secondary analysis of data collected in a prospective randomized, double-blind, double-dummy multi-center trial examining the comparative safety and efficacy of methadone and buprenorphine during pregnancy (Maternal Opioid Treatment: Human Experimental research MOTHER – study). 131 neonates born to opioid-dependent women randomized at six US sites (n=74) and one European site (n=37) were analyzed. Sex-based differences in birth weight, length, head circumference, NAS duration, NAS severity, and treatment parameters of full-term neonates were assessed.
Males had a significantly higher birth weight (p=0.027) and head circumference (p=0.017) than females, with no significant sex difference in rates of preterm delivery. No significant sex-related differences were found for NAS development, severity, duration, or medication administered with non significant differences in concomitant drug consumption during pregnancy (p =0.959).
This unique prospective study shows similar postnatal vulnerability for both sexes, suggesting that factors other than sex are the major determinants of clinically significant NAS.
PMCID: PMC3241965  PMID: 22088886
opioid dependence; methadone; buprenorphine; pregnancy; neonatal abstinence syndrome; sex differences
5.  Cigarette Smoking and Neonatal Outcomes in Depressed and Non-Depressed Opioid-Dependent Agonist-Maintained Pregnant Patients 
To investigate whether cigarette smoking and/or depression contribute to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) severity.
Cohort study analyzing data from a randomized, controlled trial of methadone versus buprenorphine.
Seven study sites that randomized patients to study conditions and provided comprehensive addiction treatment to pregnant patients.
119 of 131 opioid-dependent pregnant patients who completed the MOTHER study.
Smoking data and depression status were obtained from the Addiction Severity Index and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, respectively. Neonatal outcomes (birth weight, preterm delivery and NAS pharmacologic treatment) were collected from the medical charts. Study site was a fixed-effect factor in all analyses.
Cigarette smoking was reported by 94% of participants and depression identified in 35%. Smoking was associated with low birth weight, preterm delivery, and NAS pharmacologic treatment in both depressed and non-depressed participants. The association between smoking and NAS treatment differed significantly between depressed and non-depressed participants. Among non-depressed participants, adjusting for site and illicit drug use, each additional average cigarette per day (CPD) increased the odds of NAS treatment by 12% [95%CI: (1.02-1.23), p=0.02]. Among depressed participants, each additional average CPD did not statistically increase the odds of NAS treatment [OR: 0.94, 95% CI: (0.84-1.04), p=0.23].
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that NAS expression is influenced by many factors. The relationship between CPD and NAS pharmacologic treatment is attenuated among depressed women in this study for reasons currently unknown. Further investigations are needed to clarify the complex relationships among maternal smoking, depression, and NAS.
PMCID: PMC3401576  PMID: 22833702
Cigarettes; depression; neonatal; pregnancy; opioids
6.  Gender issues in the Pharmacotherapy of Opioid-Addicted Women: Buprenorphine 
Journal of addictive diseases  2010;29(2):217-230.
Gender, a biological determinant of mental health and illness, plays a critical role in determining patients’ susceptibility, exposure to mental health risks, and related outcomes. Regarding sex differences in the epidemiology of opioid dependence, one third of the patients are women of childbearing age. Women have an earlier age of initiation of substance use and a more rapid progression to drug involvement and dependence than men. Generally few studies exist which focus on the special needs of women in opioid maintenance therapy. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of treatment options for opioid-dependent women, with a special focus on buprenorphine, and to look at recent findings related to other factors that should be taken into consideration in optimizing the treatment of opioid-dependent women. Issues addressed include the role of gender in the choice of medication assisted treatment, sex differences in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of buprenorphine drug interactions, cardiac interactions, induction of buprenorphine in pregnant patients, the neonatal abstinence syndrome and breastfeeding. This paper aims to heighten the awareness for the need to take gender into consideration when making treatment decisions in an effort to optimize services and enhance the quality of life of women suffering from substance abuse.
PMCID: PMC2858865  PMID: 20407978
Gender; buprenorphine; opioid dependence; neonatal abstinence syndrome
7.  Substance abuse in patients with schizophrenia 
The comorbidity of schizophrenia and substance abuse has attracted increasing attention in the past years, with multiple potential links, including genetic vulnerability, neurobiological aspects, side effects of medications, and psychosocial factors being under discussion. The link between the use of substances and the development of psychoses is demonstrated by the high prevalence of substance abuse in schizophrenia. Apart from alcohol misuse, substances commonly abused in this patient group include nicotine, cocaine, and cannabis. In particular, heavy cannabis abuse has been reported to be a stressor eliciting relapse in schizophrenic patients. In general, substance use in psychosis is associated with poorer outcomes, including increased psychotic symptoms and poorer treatment compliance. Since both disorders have been observed to be closely interdependent, a particular treatment for schizophrenic patients with comorbidity of substance abuse is needed in order to provide more effective care. In this article, we discuss various potential modes of interaction and interdependence, and the possibility of embarking on new therapeutic paths for treating this particular population.
PMCID: PMC3181760  PMID: 16640112
schizophrenia; substance abuse; comorbidity; epidemiology; neurobiological aspects; intervention

Results 1-7 (7)