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Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Nov;45(13):2244-57. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2010.484474. Epub 2010 May 19.

Infant neurobehavior following prenatal exposure to methadone or buprenorphine: results from the neonatal intensive care unit network neurobehavioral scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


This study examined the neurobehavioral functioning of neonates prenatally exposed to methadone (n = 11) or buprenorphine (n = 10), who underwent the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS) examinations on days 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 post-delivery. Linear mixed model analyses revealed that NNNS scores of arousal and excitability showed significant differences between medications over time. Compared to neonates who did not require medication to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), neonates receiving pharmacotherapy for NAS showed differences over time in quality of movement, excitability, and lethargy. Results suggest the NNNS may detect subtle differences over time between both neonates prenatally exposed to methadone or buprenorphine and neonates pharmacologically treated or untreated for NAS.

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