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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
June 14, 2016

Risk of Prenatal Opioid Prescribing

JAMA. 2016;315(22):2390. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.6962

Reproductive-age women enrolled in New York’s Medicaid program receive prescriptions for opioids about half as often as women the same age in other parts of the United States, according to a recent study.

Because opioids can cause birth defects or neonatal abstinence syndrome, the data should remind clinicians to provide women who are or may become pregnant with nonopioid pain relievers, the study authors wrote. Prior to prescribing opioids, physicians should determine whether reproductive-age patients are pregnant and ask about their sexual activity and contraceptive use, they added.

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