Levo-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM, 0.2 or 2.0 mg/kg/day) was orally administered to female Sprague-Dawley rats for one month prior to and throughout pregnancy. The rats were killed on the 18th day of gestation along with a group of 18-day pregnant females given a single oral 2.0 mg/kg dose of LAAM 24 hours earlier. Although cumulation of LAAM or its active metabolites was not seen in plasma or brain of pregnant rats given drug chronically, significant cumulation was observed in whole fetus and in fetal brain. In addition, a 2-3 fold elevation in the concentrations, and an even greater elevation of total content, was noted in the newborn pup. These data suggest that opiate intoxication soon after birth may be a factor responsible for the increased morbidity and mortality of rat pups prenatally exposed to LAAM.
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This research was supported in part by USPHS Grant DA-OI880.