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The Effects of Opioid Painkillers on Newborns

Tue 13th

16:20 - 16:40

The preBötzinger Complex, a small part of the brain, was found to be responsible for the generation of automatic rhythmic breathing. My study investigated the adverse effects of early fentanyl exposure on the development of the preBötzinger Complex during the first 5 days after birth and its long-term effects on breathing in mice.

Fentanyl is an opioid painkiller that is often given to mothers during child-birth. Some cases reported that maternal fentanyl use caused reduced breathing in new-borns. It is known that opioids decrease the activity of the preBötzinger Complex but its long-term effects have not been investigated.

The results of my study provided evidence that early fentanyl exposure can have long-term detrimental effects on newborns that could increase the risk of several disorders. This talk might change your mind about the use of opioid pain relief in labour.

Eva Szilagyi-Nagy


College of MVLS

I am a fourth-year Neuroscience student born in Hungary. I am presenting my final year honours project at the Let’s Talk About X as I believe the results are incredibly fascinating and are relevant to everyone’s lives. I am a huge fan of how our body works and how we can improve our physical and mental health. Hence, I am planning to study medicine in the future and take part in clinical research.Although my career is my passion, I enjoy my artistic side on an everyday basis. I love singing, dancing and going to art galleries. I took up two new hobbies this year too. I am learning to play the guitar and tennis. Furthermore, I am going to run the half marathon this May to support the McMillan cancer trust. Altogether, I am keen on learning and experiencing new things.


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