Neonatal drug withdrawal

Pediatrics. 1983 Dec;72(6):895-902.


The Committee on Drugs of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that thoughtful consideration be given to the need for administration of pharmacologic agents to newborn infants who have symptoms of drug withdrawal. Supportive care should be the first line of therapy, and objective methods such as an abstinence scoring sheet should be used to determine the need for instituting and then discontinuing pharmacologic treatment. When appropriate, specific drug therapy should be used for treatment of withdrawal symptoms (ie, phenobarbital for phenobarbital withdrawal and opiate for opiate withdrawal). Attention should be given to potential adverse effects in the infant resulting from excipients present in many of the drugs (Table 2). The information provided herein should serve as a guide for the physician in providing supportive care and pharmacologic treatment of the infant suffering from drug withdrawal.

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Patient Care Team
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / therapy*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Narcotics