Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pediatric Experts Offer Updated Neonatal Drug Withdrawal Guidance

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a detailed, 23-page guide to neonatal drug withdrawal online January 30 in the journal Pediatrics. The guide is an update of previous information published in 1979 and 1998. Jointly prepared by the AAP's Committee on Drugs and Committee on Fetus and Newborn, the guide provides detailed descriptions of symptoms consistent with withdrawal from the different classes of medications and illicit drugs, a scoring system for evaluating neonates, and step-by-step weaning protocols. While the information is extensive, the authors note the existence of "significant gaps" in knowledge concerning the optimal treatment strategy for infants with neonatal drug withdrawal and call for further studies to address short-term outcomes and to provide for long-term follow-up.

The Food and Drug Administration recently warned physicians that neonates may suffer withdrawal symptoms when their mothers are treated with antipsychotic medications during the third trimester. Read more about it in Psychiatric News.

(Image: Marian Wilson/


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