BY THE NUMBERS
WOMEN ARE BECOMING MORE AT RISK
From 1999 to 2016, the rate of death from opioid medication increased by almost 600% among women1
In a female-focused practice, it is crucial to know the ways in which opioid abuse—including fatal overdose—is increasing among women in particular.
“The rate of fatal overdose from prescription opioids increased almost seven-fold among women over less than two decades. That’s a steeper increase than among men.”
EVEN YOUNG CHILDREN ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK OF OVERDOSE
The number of opioid-related hospitalizations requiring PICU care doubled between 2004 and 2015 from 24.9 to 35.9 per 10,000 PICU admissions (p<0.001).2
Overprescribing opioids affects more than just the adult patients—it has led to an increase in overdoses among young children. In breastfeeding babies of opioid-consuming mothers, sufficient opioids accumulate in the baby to exert analgesia and sedation.6
“Curious young children are especially vulnerable to accidentally ingesting prescription opioids, and the consequences can be very serious.”
The percentage of women prescribed opioids after C-section that experienced an opioid-related side effect3
Opioid-related side effects—such as constipation, nausea/vomiting, or ileus—may interfere with the patient’s ability to care for the newborn.
“Not only do opioids pose the risk of abuse, but their side effects may also interfere with a new mother’s ability to care for her infant.”
Severe, acute post-cesarean pain triples a woman’s risk of developing postpartum depression and negatively affects breastfeeding and infant care.4
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is sometimes overlooked among C-section patients but can play a large role in delayed recovery.
“Effective pain relief may help reduce postpartum depression, so your post–C-section patients can care for their newborns—and themselves.”
Opioid use disorder seen at delivery hospitalization more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, with rising trends in all states.5
Patients may have preexisting opioid use problems; protecting patients and their newborns starts early, with prenatal screening.
“ACOG guidelines recommend screening prenatal patients for opioid use and, as appropriate, referring patients for medication-assisted treatment and psychosocial support.”
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Substance use in women. https://www.drugabuse.gov/
publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/summary. Updated July 2018. Accessed September 12, 2018.
- Kane JM, Colvin JD, Bartlett AH, Hall M. Opioid-related critical care resource use in US hospitals. Pediatrics. 2018;141(4):e20173335.
- Bateman BT, Cole NM, Maeda A, Burns SM, et al. Patterns of opioid prescription and use after cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol. 2017;130(1):29-35.
- Eisenach JC, Pan PH, Smiley R, Lavand’homme P, Landau R, Houle TT. Severity of acute pain after childbirth, but not type of delivery, predicts persistent pain and postpartum depression. Pain. 2008;140(1):87-94.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid use disorder documented at delivery hospitalization—United States, 1999–2014. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6731a1.htm. Accessed September 12, 2018.
- Carroll IR. Opioids and lactation: insufficient evidence of safety. Pain Med. 2015;16(4):628-630; Lam J, Kelly L, Ciszkowki C, et al. Central nervous system depression of neonates breastfed by mothers receiving oxycodone for postpartum analgesia. J Pediatr. 2012;160(1):33-7.e2.