Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – Scoring, Long term effects


What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is one of the rare, but critical disease found in the newborn infants. The disease is observed on the infants who were exposed to addictive illegal and prohibited drugs in the mother’s womb. The exposure generally takes place due to parental use of drugs or taking un- prescribed medicines that contain such drugs.

The outcome of the disease can be very dangerous for the newborn babies. It is very important for the parents to look after the health of the baby from the womb itself otherwise Neonatal abstinence syndrome can be present from the birth for the baby.

The nature of the syndrome is highly dependent on the nature of the drugs the baby was exposed to in the womb. However, according to the signs and symptoms the disease can be better understood. The abrupt cessation of drug treatments can also result in Neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The drugs that are responsible for Neonatal abstinence syndrome are narcotic drugs and other similar drugs. It has been observed that even alcohol can lead to Neonatal abstinence syndrome in babies.


Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

The signs and symptoms of the syndrome are very important for the parents and the babies. It is advisable to monitor the child very closely so that Neonatal abstinence syndrome can be properly and medically addressed. The common symptoms of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome are the following.

The child generally shows high pitch cry from the day 1 of birth. If your baby is crying too much then the presence of Neonatal abstinence syndrome cannot be ignored. Apart from it the child shows the symptoms of jitteriness.

Tremors can also be felt due to Neonatal abstinence syndrome in the new born babies. The generalized convulsions among the children can also be noticed in the case of the syndrome has attacked your infant.

Excessive sweating and fever is a clear indication of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome. It is very important to monitor the baby, and anything abnormal should be brought to the attention of the doctors.


Motting is also a common symptom among the newborns. The excessive sucking and rooting may also be present along with it due to Neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Apart from all the various symptoms some common problems among newborns can also be observed. The infant may show poor feeding and vomiting. Cases have been observed when infants have the problems of diarrhea as well.

Pre-mature birth and low birth weight are also an indication of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome in the new born babies.

Scoring of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Scoring is an analytic tool to determine the severity of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome. It is very important to opt for the scoring process. It is a part of the diagnosis process as well. The scoring procedure starts within just 2 hours of life. It gives a clear idea about the criticality of the disease among the disease. The symptoms may not become very clear at an early stage hence the scoring process is followed. According to doctors, every four hours scoring procedure is followed to monitor the case of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome in the new born babies. It is also known as the Finnegan Scores. The therapy is prescribed for the babies who score equal to more than 8 in the Finnegan scoring process.

Long Term Effects of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a dangerous disease, and it leaves the impact for long term. It has been observed that infant who suffers from Neonatal abstinence syndrome tend to be different in the teenage and adulthood. They generally have a huge behavioral problem and face many challenges. The growth of the brain may not be appropriate for them and they face social problems. People with Neonatal abstinence syndrome are normally not so social and tend to remain isolated. It has be observed that the sufferer also serious challenges in the academic field due to Neonatal abstinence syndrome. Neonatal abstinence syndrome can even kill an infant in early days if not treated well at an early stage.

Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

The treatment of the Neonatal abstinence syndrome depends upon some aspects. The drug that the baby was exposed in mother’s womb is an essential aspect for the treatment. The criticality and the scoring of the infants are also very important for the treatment of the patient. The infants are given treatment for the basic problems. Sleeping, feeding, vomiting and diarrhea are treated with Pharmacotherapy for the betterment of the patient. As it is very difficult for the doctors to analyze the situation, doctors treat the patients with utmost care and maturity.


All the respiratory problems are also treated under medically prescribed medicines and patient is continuously monitored.


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