The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that newborns with opioid-related NAS be monitored for a minimum of 72 hours in hospital. Length of stay in hospital depends on the type of substance(s) exposure, severity of withdrawal, symptoms of withdrawal, treatment plan, and home/family circumstances.
In some cases of opioid-related NAS, medications may be given to the infant to reduce symptoms (e.g., morphine, methadone, phenobarbital, clonidine, buprenorphine). In general, there is uncertainty regarding the best medication for treatment of NAS. Some medical professionals and researchers suggest that there should be a balance between providing the least amount of medication while also improving an infant’s weight gain and ability to be consoled.
Some evidence suggests that treating opioid-related NAS with medications can prolong length of hospital stay and disrupt mother-infant attachment. As such, non-medication treatment interventions are recommended, such as: