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Sublingual Buprenorphine for Treatment of the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Up to Soluble prednisolone
May 22. 2017
Rachel Guy

Afternoon all,

One of our neonatal consultants mentioned the use of sublingual liquid buprenorphine for neonatal abstinence rather than morphine this morning and asked me to investigate.

There is some published trials supporting it's use but I guess it never took off as no one seems to manufacture it.

Has anyone else come across this, currently using it, manufacturing it themselves?

Any information appreciated.

Kind regards,


May 23. 2017

Wow that's sounds gung-ho!

We always manage with morphine, (sometimes plus chlorpromazine!) and more morphine.

I guess things to think of are:

- It will have to go through formulary committee for governance approval

- Why is morphine not appropriate? (why is buprenorphine better)

- Cost differences

- What will patient be discharged home on? Buprenorophine or converted across to morphine (what is conversion)

- lack of available preparation (only tablets / injection avail)

- are there any studies to support long term outcomes of these babies. Yes its probably fine for withdrawal, but are there long term follow ups to prove that it doesn't cause problems with brain development (a bit like why we don't use ketamine)


Hope that helps



May 24. 2017
Paul Dillon


Just morphine use historically in Cumbria so far,


Paul, Cumbria

May 30. 2017
Charntel Gash


We use morphine across County Durham and Darlington.


June 16. 2017
Celine King-Lewis

Morphine over here too



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