Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a group of symptoms or problems in a newborn who was exposed to opiate drugs while in utero. Depending on the exposure, the condition can last anywhere from 1 week to 6 months.


The condition occurs when the pregnant mother uses opiate drugs such as cocaine, heroin, oxycontin, methodone, or buprenorphine. These harmful substances pass across the placental membrane and into the fetal blood circulation, causing the fetus to become dependent on the drug. After delivery these infants are no longer exposed to the substances and will go through a withdrawal period.

Signs and Symptoms

The kinds of symptoms the newborn will experience may depend on which substance the mother used, how long she used it

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