Neonatal opiate withdrawal and rooming-in: a retrospective analysis of a single center experience

Klin Padiatr. 2013 Sep;225(5):247-51. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1347190. Epub 2013 Aug 21.


Aim: To evaluate our treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), our experience with rooming-in of opiate-dependent mothers and to examine the influence of rooming-in on short term outcome of infants exposed to opiates in utero.

Method: Retrospective analysis of maternal and perinatal data of newborn infants with NAS treated between 2004 and 2011 in a level 3 academic children's hospital in a German metropolis. Therapy of NAS and duration of therapy, length of hospital stay and costs were considered in particular.

Findings: Data of 77 newborns with NAS were analysed. 84.6% of infants were treated with tincture of opium (79.2% rooming-in, 88.7% no rooming-in). Infants with rooming-in (n=24) had a 17% shorter median duration of therapy [27.0 d (IQR 24.0-38.5), no rooming-in (n=53) 32.5 d (IQR 25.0-54.5)] and shorter median length of hospital stay [33.0 d (IQR 28.0-48.0), no rooming-in 41.5 d (IQR 30.3-54.5)]. Demographic data was comparable between newborns and mothers with or without rooming-in. Costs were median 13 457 € (IQR 8 967-17 494)/patient [rooming-in: 9 547 € (IQR 7 024-16 135), no rooming-in: 14 486 € (IQR 9 479-19 352)].

Conclusions: Rooming-in in NAS should be encouraged to shorten duration of therapy and length of hospital stay and thereby reduce costs. No major problems arose in the care of the infants with NAS when parents stayed with their infants but close monitoring of the newborn and strict instruction of parents are required.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Opium / administration & dosage*
  • Perinatal Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rooming-in Care*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Opium