Long-term outcome following selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor induced neonatal abstinence syndrome

G. Klinger*, D. Frankenthal, P. Merlob, G. Diamond, L. Sirota, R. Levinson-Castiel, N. Linder, B. Stahl, D. Inbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the long-term neurodevelopment of children exposed in utero to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that developed a neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Study Design: Neurodevelopmental evaluation was performed at the age of 2 to 6 years. Children who developed NAS were compared with those who did not using univariate and logistic regression analyses. Result: Thirty children with NAS and 52 without NAS participated in the study. Both groups were similar in mean cognitive ability (106.9±14.0 vs 100.5±14.6, P=0.12) and developmental scores (98.9±11.4 vs 95.7±9.9, P=0.21). However, there was a trend towards small head circumference in the NAS group (20 vs 6%, P=0.068). NAS was associated with an increased risk of social-behavior abnormalities (odds ratio (OR) 3.03, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 8.60, P=0.04) and advanced maternal age (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.25, P=0.04). Conclusion: Infants who developed NAS had normal cognitive ability, but were at an increased risk for social-behavioral abnormalities. Follow-up evaluation of symptomatic neonates should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


FundersFunder number
Department of Neurology
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel


    • long-term outcome
    • neonatal abstinence syndrome
    • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor


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