The safety of pharmaceutical drugs of dependence in pregnancy

Dr Erin Kelty

Resource Type: NDARC Seminars

Dr Erin Kelty presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 18 November 2021.

This seminar examines the emerging research on the safety of pharmaceutical drugs of dependence in pregnancy.

Pharmaceutical drugs of dependence are a group of drugs that have a recognized therapeutic need but are associated with a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence compared with other prescription drugs. These drugs are commonly used to treat a wide variety of disorders the affect women of a reproductive age, including severe pain (opioid such as oxycodone and fentanyl), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (methylphenidate and dexamphetamine), opioid dependence (methadone and buprenorphine), severe anxiety (alprazolam), and sleep disorders (flunitrazepam).

In pregnancy, these drugs have the potential to result in serious harm for both the mother and her child. However, the evidence surrounding the safety of the use of pharmaceutical drugs of dependence during pregnancy is disproportionately low in comparison to the suspected frequency that which it is likely to occurs within our community. This seminar will examine the emerging research in this field.

About the speaker

Dr Erin Kelty is a Research Fellow and NHMRC Emerging Leader in the School of Population & Global Health at the University of Western Australia. Her primary areas of interest are in medication safety in pregnancy, pharmacoepidemiology, and substance use disorders. She has considerable experience in the use and analysis of linked health data.

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