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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

  • Posted on- Feb 06, 2016
  • 7820 Views

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a condition where babies experience withdrawal symptoms following the use of addictive illicit or prescription drugs either by the mother or when these drugs are prescribed for the baby itself. Most commonly, it is due to the use of drugs such as opioids, methadone, barbiturates, fentanyl, diazepam or other narcotics.

There are two types of neonatal abstinence syndrome. The first type is Prenatal, that is, it occurs due to use of drugs by the mother during pregnancy. The foetus becomes drug dependant and experiences withdrawal symptoms after birth, when exposure to the drug is suddenly stopped.

The second category is Postnatal which follows the use of drugs for the baby in situations like emergency mechanical ventilation that requires analgesia. Fentanyl is the most common analgesic used in newborns It can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome if it is suddenly stopped.

Drugs which are frequently implicated in the occurrence of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome include benzodiazepines, opioids, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, methadone, oxycodone, cocaine, marijuana and SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).

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