Opioids and development: A perspective on experimental models and methods

L. Lichtblau, S. B. Sparber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this commentary we have discussed several problems which make interpretation of the developmental opioid literature a difficult task. In the past decade most animal studies in this area have proposed to assess the risk to the developing offspring arising from chronic maternal methadone exposure (i.e., methadone maintenance). With this as the human problem of interest, too few investigators have utilized experimental strategies which maximize the utilization of their data in the clinic. We have also presented what we view as serious problems in the papers emanating from the laboratory which has published most in this area. We have raised questions regarding the dose of methadone used in all their studies, regarding discrepancies both within and between their publications and regarding their apparent presentation of the same data in multiple publications. These questions severely limit the usefulness of that laboratory's findings. In conclusion, the issues raised in this commentary indicate that the developmental opioid literature needs to be reevaluated. Perhaps then a realistic estimate of risk to the opioid addicted mother and her newborn can be derived from animal studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1984


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