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Slow release morphine did not reduce neonatal abstinence syndrome more than methadone

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Question In pregnant women who are opioid dependent or polysubstance abusers, does slow release morphine (SRM) with an intermediate half life (16 h) reduce neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in their newborn infants more than methadone?


Randomised, unblinded, controlled trial with a {mean follow up of 15 weeks}*


A drug addiction outpatient clinic at a university hospital in Vienna, Austria.


48 pregnant women (mean age 26 y, mean gestation 22 wks) who were dependent on opioids or abused polysubstances (mean duration 61 mo) and were willing to follow the maintenance programme and avoid using illegal drugs. Follow up was complete.


Women were allocated to oral SRM tablets given twice daily (n=24) or an oral methadone solution given once daily (n=24). A flexible dose regimen was used, and the mean dose at …

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