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Treatment depends on the infant' s overall health and whether the baby was born full-term or premature.
The health care team will watch the newborn carefully for signs of withdrawal, feeding problems, and weight gain. Babies who vomit or who are very dehydrated may need to get fluids through a vein (intravenous).
Some babies need medicine to treat withdrawal symptoms. Medicines may include:
The doctor may prescribe the infant a drug similar to the one the mother used during pregnancy and slowly decrease the dose over time. This helps wean the baby off the drug and relieve some withdrawal symptoms.
Infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome are often fussy and hard to calm. Tips to calm the infant down include:
Babies with this condition often have poor feeding. Such babies may need:
Treatment helps relieve symptoms of withdrawal. How well the baby does depends in part on whether the mother (and father) continues to use drugs.
Exposure to drugs in the womb can lead to many health problems, including:
Neonatal abstinence syndrome can last from 1 week to 6 months.
Contact your health care provider if you are pregnant and have taken any type of drugs. Also call if your baby shows symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Ford MD, Delaney KA, Ling L, Erickson T, eds. Clinical Toxicology. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2001.
Ebner N. Management of neonatal abstinence syndrome in neonates born to opioid maintained women. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007;87:131-138.
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