Buprenorphine Medication for Opioid Use Disorder: A Study of Factors Associated With Postpartum Treatment Retention.

Research paper by Shona S Ray-Griffith, Emily E Tharp, Jessica L JL Coker, David D Catlin, Bettina B Knight, Zachary N ZN Stowe

Indexed on: 17 Jul '20Published on: 17 Jul '20Published in: The American Journal on Addictions


The factors associated with medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) treatment retention among pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD) are largely unknown. This study sought to characterize factors associated with postpartum treatment retention. A retrospective chart review from 2014 to 2017 was conducted among women with OUD in pregnancy treated with buprenorphine. Women were assigned to the treatment retention group if they attended an appointment within 10 to 14 weeks postpartum. Others were assigned to the dropout group. The groups were compared using bivariate analysis for sociodemographic variables, obstetrical and neonatal outcomes, clinical and subjective opioid withdrawal symptoms, buprenorphine dosage, urine drug toxicology (UDT) results, and other factors. A total of 64 pregnancies received treatment until delivery, and 47 (73.1%) were retained in treatment by 12 weeks postpartum. The treatment dropout group had lower buprenorphine doses at delivery, a higher percentage of benzodiazepine positive UDT, and number of UDT positive for benzodiazepine in the third trimester. Breastfeeding rates were higher in the treatment retention group. Future research of variables related to postpartum treatment retention is needed to provide guidelines regarding MOUD during the perinatal period and to optimize maternal and fetal well-being. This study supports previous recommendations that aggressive treatment of withdrawal symptoms in pregnant women with OUD is needed to maximize treatment retention. This is the first study to find that breastfeeding was associated with postpartum treatment retention; while, increased use of benzodiazepines during pregnancy was associated with postpartum treatment dropout. (Am J Addict 2020;00:00-00). © 2020 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.