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Long-Term Outcomes of Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Parents of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in the NICU may have questions about the long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to methadone, both asked and unasked. Although the signs of withdrawal will abate relatively quickly, parents should be aware of potential vision, motor, and behavioral/cognitive problems, as well as sleeping disturbances and ear infections so their infants can be followed closely and monitored by their pediatrician with appropriate referrals made. Furthermore, this knowledge may inspire parents to enroll their infants in an early intervention program to help optimize their outcomes. There are still many unanswered questions about epigenetic consequences, risk for child abuse/neglect, and risk of future substance abuse in this population.
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Keywords: ABSTINENCE; LONG TERM; NEONATAL; OUTCOMES; WITHDRAWAL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of South Florida College of Nursing

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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