• 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.
Weinberger SM, Kandall SR, Doberczak TM, Thornton JC, Bernstein J. Early Weight-Change Patterns in Neonatal Abstinence. Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(8):829–832. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140220111046
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