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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Opioid Prescription Claims Among Women of Reproductive Age

Opioid medications are widely used among women of reproductive age in the United States, regardless of insurance type. Women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should not stop or start taking any medications that they need without first talking with a healthcare provider.
More than a third (39 percent) of reproductive-aged women enrolled in Medicaid, and more than one fourth (28 percent) of those with private insurance, filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication each year during 2008-2012.Taking these medications early in pregnancy, often before women know they are pregnant, can increase the risk for some birth defects (such as spina bifida) and other poor pregnancy outcomes (such as preterm birth or low birth weight). Healthcare providers should discuss the potential risks and benefits of opioid medication use with women of reproductive age, prior to prescribing.

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