Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Treatment and Pediatric Outcomes

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Mar;56(1):186-92. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31827feea4.


Recent rise in rates of opiate replacement therapy among pregnant women have resulted in increasing number of infants requiring treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Short-term and long-term developmental outcomes associated with prenatal opiate exposure are discussed, including symptoms and severity of NAS, and early cognitive and motor delays. Maternal and infant risk factors are discussed, and include patterns of maternal substance use during pregnancy, genetic risk, polysubstance exposure pharmacological treatment for NAS and breastfeeding. The importance of characterizing corollary environmental risk factors is also considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / etiology*
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / therapy
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / adverse effects*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / drug therapy
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / etiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Narcotics
  • Methadone