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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2019 Jul 25. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14324. [Epub ahead of print]

Gabapentin for pain, movement disorders, and irritability in neonates and infants.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.
Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


We aimed to report our institution's experience with gabapentin therapy to manage agitation and pain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) setting. This was a retrospective, single-center study of NICU patients admitted between January 2015 and December 2017, who received gabapentin. Data on neonatal agitation, pain, Neonatal Pain, Agitation and Sedation Scale (N-PASS) scores, neurosedative medications, and adverse events were collected. Gabapentin was initiated in 16 patients at a corrected gestational age of 44 weeks (range 36.2-75wks) for agitation (n=9), pain (n=6), and movement disorders (n=1). A neurological diagnosis was present in 13 patients. Neonatal agitation, pain, and N-PASS scores and the need for other neurosedatives were significantly decreased 14 days after treatment initiation. Gabapentin is well tolerated in neonates and infants; it is associated with decreased pain scores and decreased need for multiple neurosedative medications 2 weeks after initiation.


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