Which medications in the drug class Antiepileptic agents are used in the treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

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

These drugs have a long half-life and can be orally administered, allowing for the neonate to be discharged and treated as an outpatient.

Disadvantages include lack of effect on GI symptoms and ineffectiveness in treating seizures secondary to withdrawal. In addition, antiepileptics contain 14-25% alcohol, and larger doses are required to achieve the desired effect.

Phenobarbital (Luminal)

Interferes with transmission of impulses from thalamus to cortex of brain. Used as a sedative. Irritability and insomnia are controlled. Available in PO and IV preparations.

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