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Klin Padiatr. 2011 Dec;223(7):408-13. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1283193. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

[Breast feeding during methadon- and buprenorphin therapy].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung Pädiatrie III mit Schwerpunkt Pädiatrische Kardiologie und Intensivmedizin.


The number of opiate addicted patients treated with opioid replacement therapy is continuously increasing. In Germany, 57.7% of these patients are treated with methadone and 18.6% with buprenorphine. This maintenance therapy provides several advantages while addicted pregnant women and their foetus have a high benefit from appropriate replacement therapy. However, the recommendations concerning breast feeding during an opioid replacement therapy are discussed controversially, because methadone as well as buprenorphine accumulate in breast milk. This accumulation might cause damages to the newborn's health; so, child benefits of breast feeding have to be balanced with possible health risks.This review provides an overview of a selective literature search based on the PubMed-database and german consensus recommendations. Used search terms included: (methadone*) AND (breastfeeding OR lactation), (methadone*) AND (human milk), (buprenorphine*) AND (breastfeeding OR lactation) and (buprenorphine*) AND (human milk).According to the available literature, addicted women, substinated with methadone or buprenorphine are allowed to breast feed their newborns. The advantages of breast feeding prevail the risks of an infant opiate intoxication caused by methadone or buprenorphine.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

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