Buprenorphine was significantly more effective than morphine in treating infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Most infants with NAS are currently treated with morphine.
The study randomly assigned 63 term infants who had been exposed to opioids in utero to either sublingual buprenorphine or oral morphine. Infants with uncontrolled symptoms received adjunctive phenobarbital.
Slomski A. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Better Treated With Buprenorphine. JAMA. 2017;317(24):2476. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7054