Can I Take Methadose While Pregnant?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on December 29, 2021

Methadose (methadone) can be safely taken for opioid addiction as a medication-assisted treatment during pregnancy. Taking Methadose for opioid use disorder while pregnant can increase safety and help prevent negative outcomes of untreated opioid addiction.

Can You Take Methadose While Pregnant?

Methadose (methadone) is a preferred treatment for opioid use disorder during pregnancy, when prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment program.

Methadose is also prescribed as:

  • methadone
  • Dolophine

Methadose is commonly prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain and addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and oxycodone (OxyContin).

Learn more about the benefits of Methadose treatment

Benefits Of Methadose Treatment For Addiction During Pregnancy

Methadose is FDA-approved as a medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. It can offer several benefits for opioid-addicted individuals who are or become pregnant.

Benefits of methadone treatment for pregnant patients with opioid use disorder include:

  • reduced risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS)
  • less severe NOWS symptoms in newborns
  • higher birthweight and gestational age
  • increased access to prenatal care and treatment for infectious diseases
  • prevents maternal withdrawal symptoms
  • reduces health risks associated with untreated opioid use disorder

Methadone maintenance, or the use of buprenorphine for opioid dependence, is preferred over detoxing from opioids, which can risk complications during pregnancy.

Dangers Of Untreated Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy

Opioid abuse during pregnancy can pose serious risks to fetal development and growth. For this reason, switching to methadone or buprenorphine is strongly encouraged.

Health risks associated with untreated opioid abuse include:

  • stillbirth
  • miscarriage
  • severe withdrawal in newborns
  • fetal convulsions
  • poor maternal health outcomes
  • birth defects
  • preterm birth
  • low birthweight
  • longer hospital stays
  • fetal death

Medication-assisted treatment with Methadose can help prevent these complications, and can increase the safety of both the mother and developing fetus.

Are There Risks To Taking Methadose While Pregnant?

Methadose can be safely taken for opioid addiction during pregnancy, but this type of treatment doesn’t come without certain risks.

Potential risks might include:

  • preterm birth
  • lower birth-weight
  • neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  • longer hospital stay for observation

Potential effects and risks of Methadose use while pregnant are treatable. If you’re concerned about these risks, talk to your doctor about whether Methadose is right for you.

Read more about Methadose withdrawal in newborns

Why Methadose Is Used During Pregnancy

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone or buprenorphine is recommended during pregnancy, in part due to the potential dangers of trying to detox while pregnant.

Methadone is a leading treatment for opioid use disorder. Stopping opioid drugs too quickly or attempting detox could cause fetal distress or miscarriage.

Methadone offers a safer alternative to other opioid drugs, including the illicit drug heroin, which can have harmful effects on fetal development and growth.

What To Do If You Become Pregnant While Taking Methadose

If you or someone you know is taking Methadose and becomes pregnant, contact the prescribing doctor right away for further guidance.

Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage or develop a new treatment plan to accommodate your health-related needs for the duration of your pregnancy.

Call Today To Find Opioid Addiction Treatment For Pregnancy

Some addiction rehab centers in the U.S. offer specialty treatment programs for pregnant patients, which can offer integrated prenatal care with addiction treatment.

If you’re looking for opioid addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one who’s pregnant, call our helpline to find nearby treatment options today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on December 29, 2021
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