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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Birth defects from drug use



Can a te fistula be caused from using drugs such as suboxone, klonapin or heroin during pregnancy?


Thank you for your question. You ask about an area that is not well known. Most fistula's form during the first third to first half of pregnancy (the first 16 to 24 weeks), and drugs and alcohol are known to increase the risk of these sorts of problems.

Clonazepam (Klonopin) is a benzodiazepine and all benzodiazepines are recommended to be avoided in pregnancy.

Herion is an opiate and it is clearly dangerous during pregnancy ... but mostly from things like overdoses and withdrawal rather than from development problems (like a fistula) for the baby.

Subutex is an opioid and is beginning to be considered more safe than heroin, and more safe than detox ... and maybe as safe as methadone during pregnancy. It is not associated with fistulas.

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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Response by:

Ted   Parran, MD Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University