|Classification and external resources|
Neonatal withdrawal or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a withdrawal syndrome of infants, caused by the cessation of the administration of licit or illicit drugs. Tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal may occur as a result of repeated administration of drugs or even after short-term high dose use—for example during mechanical ventilation in intensive care units. There are two types of NAS: prenatal and postnatal. Prenatal NAS is caused by discontinuation of drugs taken by the pregnant mother, while postnatal NAS is caused by discontinuation of drugs directly to the infant.
The drugs involved may be for example opioids, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), ethanol and benzodiazepines. Neonatal abstinence syndrome does not happen in prenatal cocaine exposure (with babies exposed to cocaine in utero) in the sense that such symptoms are difficult to separate in the context of other factors such as prematurity or prenatal exposure to other drugs.
When pharmacological treatment of opiate withdrawal in neonates is deemed necessary, opiates are the treatment of choice, which are slowly tapered down to wean the neonate off opiates. Phenobarbital is sometimes used as an alternative but is less effective in suppressing seizures; however, phenobarbital is superior to diazepam for neonatal opiate withdrawal symptoms. In the case of sedative-hypnotic neonatal withdrawal, phenobarbital is the treatment of choice. Clonidine is an emerging add-on therapy. Buprenorphine is under development as an alternative to morphine or methadone as initial therapy.
Opioids such as neonatal morphine solution and methadone are commonly used to treat clinical symptoms of opiate withdrawal, but may prolong neonatal drug exposure and duration of hospitalization. A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics demonstrated a significantly shorter wean duration in infants treated with methadone compared to those treated with diluted tincture of opium. When compared to morphine, methadone has a longer half-life in children, which allows for less frequent dosing intervals and steady serum concentrations to prevent neonatal withdrawal symptoms.
Non-pharmacological approaches to treat neonatal symptoms include swaddling the infant in a blanket, minimizing environmental stimuli, and monitoring sleeping and feeding patterns. Breastfeeding promotes infant attachment and bonding and is associated with a decreased need for pharmacological treatment. These approaches may lessen the severity of NAS and lead to shorter hospital stays.
A 2012 study from the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh published in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed information on 7.4 million discharges from 4,121 hospitals in 44 states, to measure trends and costs associated with NAS over the past decade. The study indicated that between 2000 and 2009, the number of mothers using opiates increased from 1.19 to 5.63 per 1,000 hospital births per year. Newborns with NAS were 19% more likely than all other hospital births to have low birthweight and 30% more like to have respiratory complications. Between 2000 and 2009, total hospital charges for NAS cases, adjusted for inflation, are estimated to have increased from $190 million to $720 million.
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on eMedicine
- Hall, RW.; Boyle, E.; Young, T. (Oct 2007). "Do ventilated neonates require pain management?". Semin Perinatol 31 (5): 289–97. doi:10.1053/j.semperi.2007.07.002. PMID 17905183.
- Iqbal MM, Sobhan T, Ryals T (January 2002). "Effects of commonly used benzodiazepines on the fetus, the neonate, and the nursing infant". Psychiatric Services 53 (1): 39–49. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.53.1.39. PMID 11773648.
- Mercer, J (2009). "Claim 9: "Crack babies" can't be cured and will always have serious problems". Child Development: Myths and Misunderstandings. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, Inc. pp. 62–64. ISBN 1-4129-5646-3.
- Hudak, ML; Tan, R. C. (30 January 2012). "Neonatal Drug Withdrawal". Pediatrics 129 (2): e540–e560. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3212. PMID 22291123.
- Osborn, DA; Jeffery, HE; Cole, M (2010). Osborn, David A, ed. "Opiate treatment for opiate withdrawal in newborn infants". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD002059. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002059.pub3. PMID 20927730.
- Osborn, DA; Jeffery, HE; Cole, MJ (2010). Osborn, David A, ed. "Sedatives for opiate withdrawal in newborn infants". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD002053. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002053.pub3. PMID 20927729.
- Kraft, WK; van den Anker, JN (Oct 2012). "Pharmacologic management of the opioid neonatal abstinence syndrome". Pediatric clinics of North America 59 (5): 1147–65. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.07.006. PMID 23036249.
- Kraft, WK; Dysart, K; Greenspan, JS; Gibson, E; Kaltenbach, K; Ehrlich, ME (Mar 2011). "Revised dose schema of sublingual buprenorphine in the treatment of the neonatal opioid abstinence syndrome". Addiction (Abingdon, England) 106 (3): 574–80. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03170.x. PMC 3022999. PMID 20925688.
- Logan, Beth A.; Brown, Mark S.; Hayes, Marie J. (March 2013). "Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Treatment and Pediatric Outcomes". Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 56 (1): 186–192. doi:10.1097/GRF.0b013e31827feea4. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Johnson, Melissa R.; Nash, David R.; Martinez, Michael A. (July 2014). "Development and Implementation of a Pharmacist-Managed, Neonatal and Pediatric, Opioid-Weaning Protocol". The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics 19 (3): 165–173. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Lee, Kimberly G. "Neonatal abstinence Syndrome". MedlinePlus. A.D.A.M., Inc. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Pritham, Ursula A.; Paul, Jonathan A.; Hayes, Marie J. (March 2012). "Opioid Dependency in Pregnancy and Length of Stay for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome". Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 41 (2): 180–190. doi:10.1111/j.1552-6909.2011.01330.x. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- "Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Associated Health Care Expenditures: United States, 2000-2009". JournalistsResource.org, retrieved May 15, 2012
- Patrick, SW; Schumacher, RE; Benneyworth, BD; Krans, EE; McAllister, JM; Davis, MM (May 9, 2012). "Neonatal abstinence syndrome and associated health care expenditures: United States, 2000-2009". JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 307 (18): 1934–40. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.3951. PMID 22546608.