People with opioid-use disorder who are pregnant may have more favorable neonatal health outcomes when using buprenorphine, an active ingredient in suboxone and other medications approved for treatment of opioid-use disorder, compared with methadone, according to a Rutgers researcher. The study, conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was published in New England Journal of Medicine. It compared the safety of two medications – buprenorphine and methadone – used to treat opioid-use disorder during pregnancy.

“Our results may encourage increasing access to buprenorphine treatment specifically among pregnant people,” said Elizabeth Suarez, a pharmacoepidemiologist who is a faculty member at the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology and Treatment Science at the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research and lead author of the study. “It’s essential for the general public to understand the importance of opioid-use disorder treatment during pregnancy to avoid harms associated with lack of treatment.” To read the full story.