What is the role of medications 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

Medications used in patients with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) should be considered when supportive measures fail to ameliorate the infant's withdrawal. This may be manifested early on as difficulty with feeding, extreme irritability, and poor sleeping. If a scoring system is used, pharmacological treatment is commonly started when the average of 3 scores is 8 or more on the Finnegan scale [41] or 4 or more on the Lipsitz scale.


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