WCPO: Study for opioid addiction treatment during pregnancy

UC is seeking participants for a study looking at an opioid addiction treatment that could weaken withdrawal symptoms and increase the likelihood of recovery.

What makes this study different is that participants must be women who are pregnant.

Addiction treatments for pregnant women can be difficult to advance due to concerns about testing during the pregnancy. UC researchers hope this study can move the needle.

“Medicine is not typically tested on pregnant women, because we like to be extra careful,” said Christine Wilder, MD, associate professor and medical director of the Addiction Sciences Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at UC and a UC Health physician. “So if we have a treatment that we know might be more effective, but it’s not actually been tested in pregnant women, people tend not to want to use it.”

Wilder, who is leading the study, and her team have embarked on a 20-month study. The drug they’re studying, buprenorphine, isn’t new, but the way test subjects are taking it is. The drug is usually administered daily under the tongue, but this method is known to produce side effects that sometimes outweigh the intended benefit.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will examine the drug’s effectiveness when injected on a weekly basis and will administer the injections for 25 women from the Tristate area along with another 300 from around the U.S.

Watch the full WCPO report.

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