August 1986

Early Weight-Change Patterns in Neonatal Abstinence

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Beth Israel Medical Center (Drs Weinberger, Kandall, and Doberczak), and the Department of Biostatistics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (Dr Thornton and Ms Bernstein), New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(8):829-832. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140220111046

• Early weight-change patterns were studied in 101 passively addicted neonates. Newborns showing mild abstinence and not requiring pharmacologic treatment lost an average of 4.0% of birth weight, reached a weight nadir on day 3, and regained birth weight by days 7 to 8. Newborns treated with either paregoric or phenobarbital for more severe signs of abstinence lost an average of 6.3% of birth weight, reached a nadir on days 6 to 7, and regained birth weight only by days 13 to 14. Despite comparable birth weights and energy intakes, treated newborns weighed 95 g less than untreated neonates on day 10 when the untreated neonates were discharged. In light of abnormal early weight-change patterns seen with more severe abstinence, both strict control of abstinence and provision of additional individualized nutritional support seem warranted.

(AJDC 1986;140:829-832)