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Neonatal Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With 'T's and Blues' (Pentazocine and Tripelennamine)

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(7):644-645. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970430076024.
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Since 1977 the combination of pentazocine and tripelennamine citrate has become increasingly popular with drug addicts and is now a major problem in New Orleans, St Louis, Chicago, and other large communities, particularly in the central region of the United States.1-3 When mixed, dissolved in water, and injected intravenously (IV), the combination, known as 'T's and blues,' has an effect similar to IV heroin. Though dosages are variable, an approximate range is 200 to 600 mg of pentazocine and 100 to 250 mg of tripelennamine citrate.2

We have seen 24 infants born to women who used this drug combination during pregnancy. Based on previous single case reports, a withdrawal syndrome was expected following passive addiction to pentazocine4-6; however, in two of the three previously described infants, there was additional drug use, ie, glutethimide5 and propoxyphene hydrochloride,6 which could also be the explanation for withdrawal symptoms. We report these 24 cases


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