The National Institutes of Health announced it will fund a new study to evaluate treatment options for newborns with opioid withdrawal syndrome, a condition caused by exposure to opioids during pregnancy. Currently, health care providers in the United States lack standard, evidence-based treatments for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, despite states reporting more cases in recent years, according to a press release. The study, called Advancing Clinical Trials in Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (ACT NOW), aims to inform clinical care of these infants.
ACT NOW is funded by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the NIH Office of the Director’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program.
“Public health and research communities cannot overlook the opioid epidemic’s effects on pregnant women and their infants,” said NICHD Director Diana W. Bianchi, M.D. “ACT NOW will supplement research on opioids and pregnancy outcomes by addressing critical gaps on how best to treat and manage opioid withdrawal syndrome in newborns.”
“This project will allow researchers to evaluate the impact of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome across the country and to develop a multi-site clinical trial in areas hit hard by the opioid crisis,” said Matthew W. Gillman, M.D., ECHO director.