Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not clonidine is effective in reducing duration of treatment in infants admitted for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Study Design: Review of two randomized control trials and one retrospective cohort design.

Data Sources: All articles were published in English in peer reviewed journals between the years of 2015 and 2019. Articles were obtained from peer reviewed journals and databased using PubMed and Cochrane Library.

Outcomes: Outcomes measured were duration of treatment and duration of treatment of morphine, measured in days.

Results: The infants treated with clonidine in Bada et al. required a statistically significantly shorter duration of treatment than those treated with morphine (p=0.02). Surran et al. found that infants who received morphine/clonidine had a statistically significant longer duration of treatment of morphine than the comparison group of infants treated with morphine/phenobarbital (p=0.001). Gullickson et al. reported a statistically significant increase in the duration of treatment for those who received morphine/clonidine compared to those who only received morphine (p=0.004).

Conclusions: Based on the conflicting findings of the three trials, it is unknown if clonidine is efficacious in reducing the duration of treatment in infants with NAS. As NAS becomes more prevalent in the United States, more research needs to be done to more fully define clonidine’s role in treatment.