Trajectories of Prescription Opioid Utilization During Pregnancy Among Prepregnancy Chronic Users and Risk of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Citation:

Straub L, Huybrechts KF, Hernández-Díaz S, Zhu Y, Vine S, Desai RJ, Gray KJ, Bateman BT. Trajectories of Prescription Opioid Utilization During Pregnancy Among Prepregnancy Chronic Users and Risk of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome. Am J Epidemiol 2022;191(1):208-219.

Date Published:

2022 01 01

Abstract:

Little is known about the impact of dose, duration, and timing of prenatal prescription opioid exposure on the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS). Using a cohort of 18,869 prepregnancy chronic opioid users nested within the 2000-2014 Medicaid Analytic eXtract, we assessed average opioid dosage within biweekly gestational age intervals, created group-based trajectory models, and evaluated the association between trajectory groups and NOWS risk. Women were grouped into 6 distinct opioid use trajectories which, based on observed patterns, were categorized as 1) continuous very low-dose use, 2) continuous low-dose use, 3) initial moderate-dose use with a gradual decrease to very low-dose/no use, 4) initial high-dose use with a gradual decrease to very low-dose use, 5) continuous moderate-dose use, and 6) continuous high-dose use. Absolute risk of NOWS per 1,000 infants was 7.7 for group 1 (reference group), 28.8 for group 2 (relative risk (RR) = 3.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.8, 5.0), 16.5 for group 3 (RR = 2.1, 95% CI: 1.5, 3.1), 64.9 for group 4 (RR = 8.4, 95% CI: 5.6, 12.6), 77.3 for group 5 (RR = 10.0, 95% CI: 7.5, 13.5), and 172.4 for group 6 (RR = 22.4, 95% CI: 16.1, 31.2). Trajectory models-which capture information on dose, duration, and timing of exposure-are useful for gaining insight into clinically relevant groupings to evaluate the risk of prenatal opioid exposure.