Oh really? Cocaine and heroin can harm the placenta

July 14, 2009

Prepare, as ever, to be astounded. Apparently cocaine and heroin can harm the placenta as they increase its permeability and so allow it to be passed through to the foetus. Well really, as it’s already well known that babies are born ‘addicted’ from their mothers who have a drug habit I wonder why anyone thought this needed proving? It seems that Antoine Malek from Zurich University Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics, felt the need to prove the obvious – and guess what, he managed it. Let’s be clear here, all drugs potentially could pass into the placenta which is why doctors are careful about what they prescribe to pregnant women and anyone who is a habitual drug user is usually aware of the risks, even if they ignore them or aren’t able to come off the drugs during the pregnancy. Often the solution is to go on methadone as a substitute, but users need to be aware that too much of it can also harm the foetus, and particularly if it is combined with any other drugs.


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