Amer J Perinatol 2018; 35(04): 324-330
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1608630
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

A Practical Approach to Neonatal Opiate Withdrawal Syndrome

Lori A. Devlin
Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky
Jonathan M. Davis
Department of Pediatrics, The Floating Hospital at Tufts Medical Center and the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

29 September 2017

29 September 2017

Publication Date:
03 November 2017 (eFirst)


Perinatal opioid misuse and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) are a significant public health problem that has grown exponentially over the past decade. In the United States, a woman seeks emergency room care for prescription opioid misuse every 3 minutes and approximately every 25 minutes, a child is born with signs of drug withdrawal. The economic impact of perinatal opioid misuse is significant with annual hospital charges for NOWS in 2012 as $1.5 billion dollars. Perinatal opioid misuse is a complex, multifaceted problem that demands a multidisciplinary cross specialty approach. This article will review the current state of NOWS and provide medical practitioners with a practical guide to enhance evidence based practice.