What is the role of weaning in the treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)?

Updated: Dec 20, 2017
  • Author: Ashraf H Hamdan, MD, MBBCh, MSc, MRCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Santina A Zanelli, MD  more...
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Answer

In a study of 547 late preterm and term neonates with narcotic abstinence syndrome who received inpatient pharmacologic treatment, including 417 who were managed with an established weaning protocol and 130 who were managed without an established weaning protocol, researchers found that use of a stringent weaning protocol reduced the duration of opioid exposure and the length of hospital stay. [78]

After adjustment for treatment site, infants who underwent protocol-based weans had a significantly shorter duration of opioid treatment (17.7 vs 32.1 days; P <.0001) and a significantly shorter hospital stay (22.7 vs 32.1 days; P = .004). [78]  There was no difference among infants who received protocol-based weaning in duration of opioid treatment or length of hospital stay between those treated with morphine and those treated with methadone. The duration of administration of phenobarbital was significantly longer among patients treated with morphine compared with those treated with methadone (P ≤.002). [78]


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