What is neonatal abstinence syndrome?

Also known as: NAS.

NAS is a group of problems that occur after delivery when a baby has been exposed during intrauterine life to illicit addictive drugs taken by his/her mother.

Examples include drugs like methadone, oxycodone, codeine, heroin, and cocaine (other drugs can also cause withdrawal and other symptoms/problems like alcohol-causing “fetal alcohol syndrome”, amphetamines, barbiturates and others).

Stopping medications, given to a baby after birth, suddenly (like morphine or fentanyl) may also give rise to withdrawal symptoms.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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