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Hi,

I am so sorry for the quandry you both are in...please know that whatever happens, though, you were in treatment for your addiction, and it was never your intention to hurt your unknown-about child. I hope you do not overwhelm yourselves with feeling down on things...you are doing all you can now to find help and direction and answers to your current situation and that is commendable in itself.

I was a pain pill addict for years, and at the point of taking an avg. of 15+ of the 10/325 vicodin (norcos) a day, I finally sought the help of a methadone clinic. At first it amazed me to see pregnant women at the methadone clinic, but after just talking to my counselor about it, I must say I was glad to know that this option is available for parents in this situation (it just came up randomly in conversation...I can no longer get pregnant, but for some reason, we began talking about opiate addicts who get pregnant and what methadone can do for them...)

From what I understand, the mother starts methadone at about 30 mgs. a day, and goes up or stays level depending on how severe her withdrawals are. One pregnant woman is at 120 mgs. a day, which is the same as my doseage. The doctors at the clinic work with the ob/gyn (I believe, but am not positive) on coming up with a plan for when the baby is born as the baby will be born addicted to methadone. There is something called tincture of methadone (?again, please don't quote me on that name as I am not sure?), and it is given to the baby to wean them down after they're born...taper if you will, off of the methadone. It takes approximately two weeks for the baby to withdraw from the methadone my counselor said.

If you found out early on, that is great and will work on your behalf if you choose to go the methadone route. I have been going to this clinic 7 months, and I have seen at least a half a dozen pregnant women there continuing their treatment with the methadone. The theory, of course, is that methadone is somehow easier than whatever the mother was using before as far as getting off of it, as well as there is more trial study information available to help get the babies off the methadone as they will be born addicted to it, there is no getting around that. But is that better than being addicted to heroin or other opiates? The methadone clinic says 'yes.'

I wish I knew something about Sub and pregnancy, but I have no information on that whatsoever. As I did just have this "pregnant and on methadone" conversation with my counselor very recently, though, I did want to share what little I know about it with you and your partner.

Please know that my thoughts and best wishes are with you both, and I think it is wonderful that your partner would consider sacrificing her physical well-being and going c/t in order to make things safer for your baby, but on the other hand, it could lead to other problems such as high blood pressure, stress on the baby and the mother, and maybe a lot of other things we don't know about. I think you have to decide on which plan is going to keep the baby's mother as comfortable as possible throughout her pregnancy in order to avoid other unforseeable problems, and with the help of your doctor and/or a clinic, come up with a birth plan for your baby in the event you chose a way through this that results in your baby born with mild addiction.

I hope you will keep us posted on how you are doing and coping with this, and please know that you are not, nor will you be, judged at any clinic or by any caring physician who knows you are only trying to do what is best for mother and child when faced with such a difficult scenario.

You have all my best wishes at heart, and please take care of both of yourselves...

Dallas Alice
Nicole & Greg,

First of all, congratulations!! :D And good luck with your decision, all "3" of you are in my prayers.

Just some FYI, subutex is in the class C pregnancy category. Class A is acetaminophen, meaning no chance of harm if taken correctly. Class B means the drug is considered safe. Class C means they think it is safe but should be monitored carefully. If the result of not having the med is of more risk than taking the drug, then it will be prescibed. Class D means under regular circumstances, it is not prescribed because it has been proven to cause possible harm to the fetus. Because Subutex is so new, not many- if any- studies have been conducted on humans because who wants to volunteer to be the guinea pig for such? But, I know in some cases it is prescribed during pregnancy. The dr office where I go to get Sub, the secretary took it while pregnant, not the entire pregnancy, but just to taper to get off of oxycontin. I think she started taking it at about 2 months preg (when she found out she was preg, decided to get off the oxycontin and this is the route she chose) and taper till her 5th month. She had a healthy, nonaddicted baby boy weighing 8lbs 1oz. And her preg was normal with no complications. The chance of her continuing the oxys was of greater risk for potential harm than the sub.

I totally support the decision you have made to ct it. But, should that get to rough, I would say to not hesitate to get assistance rather it be sub or methadone. (For instance, use the subs you have now to taper) Methadone is proven safe, my understanding. And I have read that if the baby does have wd, they have a very comfortable way to treat the baby where there is not discomfort.

Now, with all that said, let me tell you my story. When I found out I was pregnant, I quit taking opiates and suffered the wd's. My pregnancy was very rough. I had too many UTI's to count and my doctor prescribed hydro's very numerous times. Also, I battled with bronchitis and was prescribed Notuss and Histex very numerous times as well. Seemed like if I wasn't taking hydro in pill form, I had it in liquid. I would guestimate that I took some form of hydro atleast 90% of my pregnancy. On July 23, 2004 I gave birth to not one but two healthy baby boys. They came 4 weeks early but that is considered good for twins. Despite the almost continuous use of hydro, my babies were born nonaddicted. So, not in all situations do babies suffer withdrawals.

Anyway, I wish you all the best. Rather you stick with you decision or change your mind, I don't think there is any need to suffer. Just being preg is hard enough without being tormented with addiction and wd's. Just be honest with your OB about everything and you and your baby will be fine. (make sure you have an OB that you truly like and trust). Please keep us posted on how things are going. Good luck :) !!

~Anne
Hi Gregg & Nicole,

Glad I might could be of some help. Please remember, I am not a medical professional, I am just sharing my opinion along with info I have gathered while researching on sub and a personal story of someone that I do know personally who went through a similar situation. I know what it feels to be worried about what you are doing to your baby because I worried my entire pregnancy and I did try to quit numerous times but each time it seemed like I would end up in the hospital with at UTI. Due to the UTI's I went in premature labor four times (1st time at 24wks) and was therefore in the hospital four times scared to death I was going to lose my babies or they would be born with problems. One time they put me on magnesium sulfate to stop contractions and I honestly thought they were killing me, that is something you want to avoid if at all possible.

Don't beat yourself up for needing to taper the meds. I totally back you on this. Because if your body is not in good shape like from the wd's then your baby is going to be stressed also. Thats why its important for Mommy to take care of herself and not forget about her well being as well as the baby's.

The secretary took Subutex. Subutex contains only one drug- Buprenorphine. Suboxone contains that plus Naloxone which is just kind of like an insurance policy that you won't abuse or shoot up while on the med; and I'm sure its safe to say you are not at risk of doing that. Anyway, since Subutex contains only one drug, I would say to use that instead of Suboxone. Because why take something that you really don't need like the naloxone when you are pregnant. Since the Buprenorphine is what controls wd's, this is all, I would think, you would actually need. This is probably why your doctor recommends Subutex over the Suboxone. So, I say go ahead and take the dr up on his offer of Subutex and tell him to get the papers ready. And don't beat yourself up about it!!! :nono: !!! By beating yourself up about it, you are adding stress to yourself and that is definetely not good for neither you or the baby. Atleast by going this route, your baby is doubtful to be born addicted, as opposed to methadone, because you will have been off of the drug for awhile before the birth. My OB told me about the hydro when I was pregnant that as long as you do not consume something the entire time you are pregnant then the baby should not go through wd's after he/she is born. And like I said yesterday, my twins did not have withdrawals which I truly consider a miracle.

Nicole- I know it may seem impossible, but try to relax. Think about all the babies born to mothers who are addicted to heroin, crack, etc. and those mothers who abuse the whole time knowing/ignoring the potential damage. This is not what you are doing by any way, shape or form!! You are taking a prescibed medication to taper off so you won't put your baby at risk from the nightmarish ct wd's. I don't mean to get relegious on ya but I truly believe that God does not put more on us than we can handle. I take peace in believing that. So, remember, by taking care of yourself- you are taking care of your baby. Don't forget to be completely honest with your OB so he can treat you appropiately, for instance- so he won't give you anything that might react badly with the Subutex. BTW, good luck being preg during the summer, I was soooo miserable :p

Let me/us know how it goes and please stick around- you might just help someone else facing the same situation as you. Best wishes to you both, you guys have so much joy to look forward to. ;)

~Anne





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