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Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS): New Name, New Approaches


By Linda Cooper, MD , Neonatologist, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH


More about Linda Cooper, MD, FAAP

Objectives (Educational Content) :

1. Compare the Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring System (FNASS) with the Eat, Sleep, Console approach to evaluating the opioid-exposed neonate. 2. Describe the treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) with morphine versus buprenorphine and the possible implications for lengthy hospital stay. 3. Recognize a possible genetics-based explanation for the varied symptoms and severity of NAS in opioid-exposed neonates.

Target Audience:

General pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, psychologists and nurses

Identified Gap:

An update in the treatment of neonates with opioid exposure.

Estimated Time to Complete the Educational Activity:

1 hour

Expiration Date for CME Credit:


Method of Physician Participation in the Learning Process:

The learner will view the presentation, successfully complete a post-test and complete an activity evaluation.

Evaluation Methods:

All learners must successfully complete a post-test, as well as an activity evaluation, to claim CME credit.


Dr. Cooper has indicated that she has no relevant financial interest in any pharmaceutical or medical device company and that this activity was developed independent of commercial interest.

Accreditation Statement:

Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron is accredited by the Ohio State Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CHMCA designates this enduring material activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit TM.  Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Grossman MR, Berkwitt AK, Osborn RR, et al. An initiative to improve the quality of care of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Pediatrics. 2017; 139(6):e20163360.

Kraft WK, Adeniyi-Jones SC, Chervoneva I, Greenspan JS, Abatemarco D, Kaltenbach K, Ehrlich M.  Buprenorphine for the treatment of the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(24):2341-

Elisha M. Wachman, MD, Marie J. Hayes, PhD, Richard Sherva, PhD, Association of Maternal and Infant Variants in PNOC and COMT Genes With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Severity. The American Journal on Addictions, 26: 42-49, 2017  ISSN: 1055-0496 print / 1521-0391 online