Thirty two infants born to mothers taking methadone and 32 matched controls were studied to determine the incidence, timing, and frequency of persistence of withdrawal signs in infants born to maternal methadone users. Twelve (37%) infants received treatment for symptoms of withdrawal. The median length of time from birth to initiation of treatment was 23 hours (range 15-64 hours), the median length of treatment was six days (range 1-22 days). In the first six weeks after birth there was no significant difference in minor withdrawal symptoms and signs, general practitioner or accident and emergency visits between the group who did not receive treatment for withdrawal and the control group. If immediate treatment for withdrawal is not required major symptoms do not subsequently occur with great frequency. Late withdrawal signs were not seen in this study.
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