Bianca Varney presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 19 August 2021.

This webinar examined the use of analgesic opioids in Australian women aged 15 to 44 years and implications for unplanned pregnancies.

As around half of all pregnancies are unplanned, opioid use among women of reproductive age may result in exposure in unplanned pregnancies. Understanding prescription opioid use in women of reproductive age is important given that opioid exposure during pregnancy has been linked to adverse perinatal outcomes and congenital malformations in infants.

Using a standardised national pharmaceutical claims dataset, the study presented in this webinar examines the trends in the proportion of women of reproductive age that use and initiate prescription analgesic opioids in Australia between 2013 and 2020. The findings have implications for understanding the likelihood of inadvertent exposure during unplanned pregnancies.


About the speaker

Bianca Varney is a Scientia PhD Scholar from the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW Sydney. Bianca is currently in her first year of her PhD and her doctoral research focuses on the safety of medicines during pregnancy using big data. Bianca has previously spent several years working as a cell biologist before completing a Master of International Public Health at UNSW. Bianca holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Sydney.

Please note: readers and audience are encouraged to go to the presenter’s published paper for the most fulsome account of the research and its findings. You can read the relevant papers here.

Date Commenced
16 Sep 2021
Resource Type
NDARC Seminars