A team of researchers at Penn State College of Medicine discovered that within 24–48 Hours after delivery, newborns who were exposed to opioids in their prenatal phase responded more vigorously to pain. The team also found that when the skin conductance test was performed over those babies, unexpected results came in front.
Dr. Christiana Oji-Mmuo, assistant professor at Penn State University, stated that the mothers who consumed opioids during pregnancy, their babies would be at 55–94% risk of developing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
As specified by the researchers, a stress-associated chemical, norepinephrine is blocked by opioids consumption. After birth, the baby is no longer exposed to opioids, owing to which significant hormonal changes occur inside the body. This can possibly lead to sweating, irritability, fever, eating poorly, and seizures, among others such symptoms.
Throughout the research, they tried to find some better objective tools and equipment to recognize NAS development accurately in newborns.
For the study, 37 newborns were enrolled by the team, out of which 22 were exposed to opioids during their prenatal stage and 15 were healthy & opioid-free. They conducted several visual, mechanical, and chemical tests on newborns. Through the tests’ reports, the researchers found that the babies exposed to opioids in the prenatal stage reacted strongly to pain & remained in stressed condition for a longer period than the babies who were not.
On a similar note, Canadian drug makers have trapped themselves in a legal matter by the misleading and illegal promotion of opioid-comprising drugs and painkillers. The suit has been filed on behalf of vulnerable patients who became addicted to these life-threatening drugs.
Based on the total filings in Ontario Superior Court, patients, who were at the risk through opioid addiction, claimed more than $1.1 Billion from more than 20 firms. The firms also included established pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson and Johnson, Apotex, the Jean Coutu Group, and Bristol-Myers Squib.