Acute Drug Withdrawal, Pediatric

Robert J. Hoffman Reviewed 06/2017



  • Drug withdrawal is a physiologic response to an effectively lowered drug concentration in a patient with tolerance to that drug.

  • Withdrawal results in a predictable pattern of symptom...


  • Drug withdrawal is a clinical diagnosis.

  • Patients should be evaluated for associated diagnoses such as traumatic injury, pneumonia, etc.


  • Typically, a history of substance exposure, eith...



  • Symptom-triggered treatment has been demonstrated to be superior to fixed-regimen treatment in terms of patient outcome as well as length of stay.

  • Patients experiencing withdrawal f...

Ongoing Care

Follow-up Recommendations

  • If disposition will be discharge, it is crucial to ensure that the patient’s condition is stable before discharge.

  • If there is any question regarding whether the p...

Additional Reading

  • Anand  KJS, Willson  DF, Berger  J, et al. Tolerance and withdrawal from prolonged opioid use in critically ill children. Pediatrics.  2010;125(5):e1208–e1225. [View Abstract]

  • D...



  • 779.5 Drug withdrawal syndrome in newborn

  • 779.4 Drug reactions and intoxications specific to newborn

  • 292 Drug withdrawal

  • 291.81 Alcohol withdrawal


  • P96.1 Neonatal w/drawal symp from matern ...

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