whose mothers are prescribed opioids face a markedly increased risk of overdose
compared to children whose mothers received a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drug (NSAID) for pain, according to a study to be published in the March 2017
issue of Pediatrics (online
Researchers conducted a population-based case-control study between 2002 and
2015 in Ontario, Canada, through use of a public drug benefit database. The
study, “Overdose Risk in Young Children of Women Prescribed Opioids
identified 103 children age 10 and younger who arrived at a hospital for an
opioid overdose and whose mothers received subsidized medications through
Ontario’s drug plan. Half of the children treated for opioid toxicity were
younger than two years, the study found. The most commonly implicated opioids
were codeine (54 percent), oxycodone (32 percent) and methadone (15.5 percent).
Children whose mothers were prescribed antidepressants also were at increased
risk for opioid overdose. The authors conclude that prescribers, pharmacists
and parents should be made aware of the potentially fatal risks to children,
and take steps to lessen risks in the home.
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