Buprenorphine-naloxone use in pregnancy: a systematic review and metaanalysis


      The goal of this systematic review and metaanalysis is to compare pregnancy outcomes between pregnant women undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder with buprenorphine-naloxone and those undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder with other forms of medication-assisted treatment.

      Study Design

      PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Clinical Trials, and Web of Science were searched to identify studies assessing the relationship between maternal buprenorphine-naloxone use and pregnancy outcomes. Outcomes assessed included neonatal abstinence syndrome diagnosis and treatment, neonatal intensive care unit admission, length of neonatal hospital stay, delivery complications, mode of delivery, labor analgesia, illicit drug use, medication-assisted treatment dosage, gestational age at delivery, breastfeeding status, miscarriage, congenital anomalies, intrauterine fetal demise, birthweight, head circumference, length, and Apgar scores.


      Overall, 5 studies comprising 6 study groups met the inclusion criteria. Of the 1875 mother-baby dyads available for analysis, medications prescribed as part of the medication-assisted treatment included buprenorphine-naloxone, buprenorphine alone, methadone, or long-acting opioids. There were no serious adverse maternal or neonatal outcomes associated with maternal buprenorphine-naloxone use reported among any of the studies. Women prescribed with buprenorphine-naloxone for delivered neonates who were less likely to require treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome were compared with pregnant women prescribed with other opioid agonist medications. Of the remaining outcomes assessed, metaanalysis did not detect any statistically significant differences when comparing the groups of women using buprenorphine-naloxone with the groups of women prescribed with other medications as part of the medication-assisted treatment.


      Pregnant women undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder with buprenorphine-naloxone do not experience significantly different pregnancy outcomes than women undergoing treatment with other forms of opioid agonist medication-assisted therapy.

      Key words

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