The Associated Press title How do you know if your doctor is ‘a savior’?
article New York City-area doctors are working overtime to help babies born to mothers who had been prescribed opioids, but many are having a hard time figuring out which is the right drug.
The New York Post reports that New York doctors have been instructed to give newborns an “adjuvant dose” of an opioid that has been linked to a significantly higher risk of complications.
That means babies who receive a dose of the drug should receive one less dose of an opiate they need.
Doctors have also been told to tell mothers that they should be given a placebo drug, which is a nonopioid drug, instead of the actual opioid.
But even if a baby gets a placebo, it’s still important to talk to a doctor about whether the drug was the right one, said Dr. Eric Dreyer, director of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Dreyers specialty area is neurosurgery.
He also serves on the New Jersey Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s opioid prescribing task force, which includes doctors who work with newborns at New York hospitals.
He said doctors have no way of knowing if a newborn who gets an opioid from a doctor in the area is going to be addicted to it or will be able to manage it.
“If you get an opioid and you’re an opioid addict, you’re going to have problems.
That’s a real concern, especially if you’re a newborn,” Dreyes told the Post.
He noted that there’s a “very high likelihood” that a baby’s mother would have taken the drug if it was a prescription drug.
“The mother may have taken it because she wanted to get it, she may have used it because her partner was on Oxycontin, or she may not have had a history of opioid use,” he said.
Doctors are working to develop a “best practice” for newborn opioids.
But they’re working hard to find ways to make sure a drug isn’t being abused or used as a substitute for a medication.
In the meantime, Drey’s group is encouraging mothers to discuss their baby’s opioid use with their doctors.
“We want to know what’s happening with the baby and what’s causing their behavior,” he told the paper.
“We want them to tell us about what the doctor said.
If they don’t know, they should talk to their doctor.”
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