Can You Take Oxycodone While Pregnant?

It is not advised to take oxycodone (OxyContin) while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This powerful opioid may cause severe health problems for you or your baby.

Oxycodone (brand name Oxycontin) is a prescription opioid used to help treat those suffering from moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is also combined with other drugs such as acetaminophen, including brand names Oxycet, Percocet, and Narvox.

Oxycodone is a strong opioid pain medication used for those who experience chronic pain. It is a Schedule II controlled substance,which means it has abuse potential and can lead to opioid dependence.

Pregnant women and those nursing should speak with their prescribing doctor regarding the potential risks of using oxycodone, as health problems like withdrawal syndrome can develop for your baby. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid exposure during pregnancy may cause life-threatening health conditions.

Risks Of Taking Oxycodone While Pregnant

Women who are pregnant should avoid oxycodone. The drug can pass through the placenta to the fetus. Those who are breastfeeding should also avoid prolonged opioid use because it may cause the drug to pass to the baby via breast milk.

Those who take opioid medications while pregnant have an increased risk of:

  • stillbirth
  • low birth weight
  • birth defects
  • maternal death
  • preterm labor
  • poor fetal growth

Those who abuse this strong painkiller during early pregnancy or their first trimester instead of implementing prenatal care may harm their baby. Malformations and birth defects can also take place.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), regular use of opioids while pregnant can result in the baby suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). If your baby is exposed to oxycodone due to your substance use, NAS can take place.

This form of withdrawal syndrome is characterized by various withdrawal symptoms your baby may develop within the first 72 hours of birth, including:

  • sleeping difficulties
  • seizures
  • loose stools
  • vomiting
  • high-pitched crying
  • frequent yawning
  • poor feeding or sucking
  • irritability

Risks Of Oxycodone Abuse

In addition to being harmful to the child, those struggling with opioid addiction may suffer from serious side effects which can range in severity. Those participating in oxycodone abuse can experience headaches, changes in mood, and stomach pain.

Additionally, more serious issues can occur such as cardiovascular problems, breathing issues, and withdrawal symptoms. Adults who abruptly stop taking oxycodone may experience cravings for the drug, nausea, or tremors.

Oxycodone Overdose

Taking oxycodone in higher doses than prescribed is a form of drug use which can lead to an increased risk of overdose. Symptoms of an oxycodone overdose can include:

  • respiratory depression
  • extreme drowsiness or sleepiness
  • clammy or cold skin
  • muscle weakness
  • coma

If an overdose is suspected, contact 911 and seek urgent medical help immediately. An opioid overdose can be more likely when a person combines oxycodone with other substances such as:

  • fentanyl
  • heroin
  • morphine
  • certain antidepressants
  • tramadol (Ultram)
  • codeine
  • hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • alcohol
  • over-the-counter pain relievers

If a person is diagnosed with opioid use disorder, medications like methadone or buprenorphine can reduce your need for the drug.

If you or a loved one live with opioid addiction and need help, contact us today to learn about our residential substance abuse treatment options.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/opioids/basics.html
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0122-pregnancy-opioids.html
  3. Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2015/022272s027lbl.pdf
  4. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html
  5. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/pregnancyandopioids.html
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/substance-use-in-women/substance-use-while-pregnant-breastfeeding
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/treating-opioid-use-disorder-during-pregnancy

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 7, 2023

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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