Oxycodone and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know


Oxycodone use during pregnancy can be dangerous to the fetus. When a woman uses or abuses the drug oxycodone during pregnancy, there are certain risks involved. It is important to know the facts and to always consult your doctor about the risks of oxycodone use, especially if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant.

Oxycodone as a Painkiller

Oxycodone is often prescribed as a painkiller for moderate to severe pain. It can be very beneficial in this case, but it can also be dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. According to the NLM, you should “tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant” and you are taking oxycodone extended-release. If you take these drugs regularly during your pregnancy, “your baby may experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms after birth.” These symptoms could include:

  • Irritability
  • Hyperactivity
  • Abnormal sleep
  • High-pitched crying
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This can be extremely dangerous for your newborn and can occur if you take oxycodone extended-release tablets during your pregnancy. Knowing this, you can discuss your options with your doctor, who may place you on another type of medication that is safer for your child.

Also, according to the CDC, “Babies born to women who take opioid pain killers such as codeine, oxycodone or hydrocodone just before or in early pregnancy are at increased but modest risk of birth defects.” These can include congenital heart defects, spina bifida, hydrocephaly, and gastroschisis.

Oxycodone Abuse

Someone who abuses oxycodone during pregnancy could see their newborn experiencing the same symptoms and others which can be even worse. According to the PMP, oxycodone abuse during pregnancy can cause:

pregnancy and drugs

It is not safe to take oxycodone while pregnant.

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature delivery
  • Stillbirth of pregnancies

Oxycodone abuse by pregnant women is very dangerous, both for the mother and the unborn child. The chance for overdose is extremely high, especially if the woman abusing these drugs is already tolerant to them. She may take more and more each time in order to get the high she wants. This can be extremely dangerous and lead to overdose symptoms in both the pregnant woman and the fetus, including:

  • Respiratory depression
    • Respiratory depression is the cause of death in most oxycodone and other opioid drug overdose cases. It can involve difficulty breathing, slowed breathing, or breathing stopping altogether.
  • Sleepiness
  • Limp and weak muscles
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Clammy skin
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Coma
  • Death

How Do I Protect My Child from Oxycodone’s Effects?

Discussing your worries with your doctor is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the treatment that is best for you and your unborn baby. Your doctor will likely want to put you on another medication in order to keep you and your child safe.

Many people who are addicted to oxycodone cannot stop abusing it, even when they know that they should. This is why oxycodone addicts often cannot just quit the drug on their own. If you are pregnant and addicted to oxycodone, consider addiction treatment. You will get the help you need to stop using oxycodone and be able to protect yourself and your child from the harmful effects of oxycodone abuse.