Support the NAAG as they call for a Black Box Warning on prescription pain medication to protect newborns.
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May of this year urging it to require a "black box warning" on prescription pain medication (especially opioids) to inform pregnant women that the use of such drugs may have devastating effects, including Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), on their infants. When pregnant women expose their unborn babies to opiates and abruptly quit taking the drugs, babies will experience intense withdrawal symptoms which result in NAS. The symptoms for a newborn babies experiencing NAS include abnormal sleep patterns, tremors, vomiting, high-pitch crying, irritability, hyperactivity, seizures, weight loss and failure to gain weight. The severity and duration of these symptoms vary according to substance used, the amount of the mother’s last dose, and the rate that the infant is able to eliminate the drug from his/her body. The use of prescription opioids is increasing at alarming rates, and those who are using while pregnant are many times unaware of the risks. By placing a "black box warning" on these medications, pregnant women, as well as their healthcare providers, can be alerted of the serious adverse effects. The treatment methods of NAS have still not been completely validated by scientific research, so the best measures are preventative measures. With the "black box warning" in place, clinicians and patients would have the opportunity to be more aware of the devastating effects of opioid use during pregnancy. By signing this petition, your voice will be counted in the call to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering for mothers and their infants.