Complementary Therapies For Mild to Moderate Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome: A Mini-review: Principles and Practice of Clinical Research Journal

Aleksandar Mihailo Kovačević, Adefidipe Adeyemi Abiola, Ahmad Almarie, Amina Sayed, Andre Sorolla Ruiz De Castilla, Angel Goenawan, Bruno Nogueira Cesar, Charmy Parikh, Daniela Ayala Olaya, Felipe Vial, Francisco Standen, Franco Daniel Rocco, Juliana Rosa Chinelato, Marcelo Carlos De Freitas, Natalia Petri Dias, Omolade Betiku, Silvio Porto De Oliveira Junior, Sylwia Kozak, Sonya Grisel Mendez Castellanos, Bassel AlmarieEnrique E Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome, resulting from prenatal opioid exposure, is rising in prevalence and presents substantial health and developmental challenges for neonates. While standard treatments of opioids such as morphine have been traditionally employed for treatment, concerns about their long-term effects on neonatal development have spurred interest in alternative therapeutic strategies. This review seeks to highlight emerging non-opioid interventions for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome and their potential benefits. Methods: Utilizing the PRISMA framework, the database PubMed was systematically searched for complementary therapies for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome. The search was conducted on September 27th, 2023, and employed a combination of keywords targeting the condition and the treatment modalities. Cochrane risk of bias tool was utilized to evaluate study quality and classify studies based on their risk of bias. Data captured from these studies encompassed parameters such as study design, intervention, and outcomes, including length of stay and length of pharmacotherapy. Results: Among 71 identified articles, only five met the inclusion criteria. Three were randomized controlled trials, and two were quasi-experimental studies. Among the 5 included trials, 3 demonstrated potential benefits, while two revealed no differences in treatment duration or reliance on pharmacological support. The "Eat-Sleep-Console" method, acupuncture, and vibrating mattresses were associated with reduced morphine dosages and shorter hospital stays. Most trials showed moderate to high risk using the Cochrane RoB-2 tool. Discussion: This review underlines the growing concern of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome stemming from increased opioid use during pregnancy. While severe cases necessitate pharmaceutical treatments, there’s a pressing need for safer alternatives. "Eat-Sleep-Console" method and transcutaneous auricular neuromodulation might offer mild relief. Future efforts should adopt a multifaceted strategy, emphasizing further research to optimize treatments and outcomes. Conclusion: Although complementary therapies show promise, with limited evidence from three RCTs, their efficacy remains uncertain. Additional studies might clarify the role while combining it with pharmacological methods could enhance outcomes. Comprehensive research is essential to optimize treatments for NOWS-affected infants. Complementary therapies in mild to moderate cases of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome show promising results. So far, not enough data has been obtained to support the efficacy of observed therapies.
Original languageSpanish (Colombia)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 3 May 2024

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