What are the symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome?
Babies who vomit or become dehydrated may need to get fluids through a vein. Other possible symptoms include unusual diaper rash, diarrhea, vomiting, an especially high-pitched cry, fever, poor sucking, rapid breathing, seizures, sweating, and trembling
Some babies need to take methadone or morphine, and may stay in the hospital for up to six months as doctors slowly reduce the dose to wean the baby off the drug for good. Your baby may also be given phenobarbital or clonidine. Breastfeeding is desirable — unless there are other reasons not to breastfeed — even if you are taking methadone or buprenorphine, as long as you are not using other drugs.
When your baby has neonatal abstinence syndrome, you may have a harder time soothing her even after she comes home. Swaddle her with a blanket, gently rock her, and keep noise and lights down. You may need to apply a special cream to rashes. If your baby isn’t feeding or gaining weight properly, you may need to frequently feed her small, high-calorie portions. (Your baby’s doctor can help you.)
Never give a baby methadone or any other medication without your doctor’s approval. Even a small amount can seriously harm or even kill your child.
November 01, 2017
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA