Are there gender related differences in neonatal abstinence syndrome following exposure to buprenorphine during pregnancy?

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Abstract

Aim:

To determine whether infant gender influences the course of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) following exposure to buprenorphine during pregnancy.

Methods:

A retrospective cohort study was performed in which maternal and infant data were collected for 46 male and 44 female infants. All infants were born to women enrolled in a buprenorphine treatment program from December 2007 until October 2012. Maternal and infant characteristics and outcomes were compared by infant gender.

Results:

Male infants had a significantly higher mean peak NAS score (10.04 vs. 7.98, P=0.028) and were more likely to require pharmacologic treatment for NAS (39.1% vs. 11.4%, P=0.005).

Conclusions:

These data indicate that, following exposure to buprenorphine during pregnancy, male infants experience a more severe withdrawal syndrome and are more likely to require pharmacologic treatment for NAS.

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