n South African Journal of Child Health - Abuse of antiretroviral drugs combined with addictive drugs by pregnant women is associated with adverse effects in infants and risk of resistance : case report

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



Reports of the use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to produce a highly addictive drug called nyaope or whoonga are of major concern as ARVs are easily accessible in sub-Saharan Africa, including to pregnant women. Use of illicit drugs by pregnant women may result in serious adverse effects in their infants. We have noticed a sudden increase in the number of infants presenting with signs suggestive of neonatal abstinence in Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Here we report two neonates who were born to mothers addicted to nyaope. Both infants were growth restricted and presented with signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome that are likely due to nyaope or whoonga. We suggest that in growth-restricted infants born to mothers who are at high risk of substance abuse and/or are receiving ARVs, screening for substance abuse should be considered.

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