Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure on Human Pregnancy and PostpartumAntoine Malek*
University Hospital Zurich, Department of Obstetrics, Research Division, Frauenklinikstr 10, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Antoine Malek
University Hospital Zurich, Department of Obstetrics
Research Division, Frauenklinikstr 10
8091 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel: +41-044-255 51 48
Fax: +41-044-255 90 66
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: November 15, 2012; Accepted date: November 28, 2012; Published date: November 30, 2012
Citation: Malek A (2012) Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure on Human Pregnancy and Postpartum. Pharmaceut Anal Acta 3:191. doi: 10.4172/2153-2435.1000191
Copyright: © 2012 Malek A. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
During the early months of pregnancy, cocaine exposure may increase the risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, cocaine use can cause placental abruption. Placental abruption can lead to severe bleeding, preterm birth, and fetal death. Women who use cocaine throughout their pregnancy have the risk of an increased chance of premature labor and birth defect. In addition babies may also have a smaller head and have their growth hindered. Babies who are exposed to cocaine later in pregnancy may be born dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. The effects of prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) have been examined in infants and young children across multiple developmental domains (e.g., growth, intelligence, language, motor, attention, and neurophysiology). Studies revealed that in most domains, the neurobiological effects of PCE play a subtle role, with effects no greater than other known teratogens or environmental factors. Associations between PCE and negative developmental outcomes were typically attenuated when models included conditions that commonly co-occur with PCE (eg. tobacco or alcohol exposure, malnutrition, poor quality of care). Some investigations suggest that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older. Defects of the genitals, kidneys, and brain are also possible. The aim of this review is to provide information regarding the prenatal exposure and the associated impact on placental function and pregnancy outcomes.