Withdrawal syndrome (1790)

Key points below

What is withdrawal syndrome?

Some medicines can cause dependence. This means the body is getting used to the medicine. If the medicine is stopped quickly, your child may have withdrawal symptoms. This means your child’s body is reacting to not having the medicine. This is called withdrawal syndrome. This is not the same as addiction.

What are the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome?

Withdrawal syndrome causes symptoms. If your child has only 1 or 2 of these, it is not likely withdrawal syndrome. You will be taught what to watch for when you go home. If your child has withdrawal syndrome, they will have many of these symptoms:

Infants and young toddlers may also have:

Can withdrawal syndrome be prevented or treated?

Often, yes. Withdrawal syndrome may be prevented by slowly giving your child less medicine. This is called weaning. Withdrawal syndrome may also be prevented by changing medicines. These medicines would also be weaned slowly. If your child will be taking medicines at home, you will learn how to give them.

Who do I call if I have questions or concerns about withdrawal once my child is home?

☐ Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns or if your child has new withdrawal symptoms.

☐ If your child was followed by the Pain Service, you may call them for questions about withdrawal.

For other health and wellness information check out this resource:


ALERT: Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.

This sheet was created to help you care for your child or family member. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.