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A Review of Drugs Commonly Used During the Neonatal Period


  • Mary Ann Faucher CNM, MS, MPH,

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    • Mary Ann Faucher, CNM, MS, MPH, is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City where she received her midwifery education and her master's degree in public health. She currently works at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, where she has a joint clinical/faculty position in the midwifery program. Her interest in pharmacology began in 1987 when she was appointed chair of the Political and Economic Affairs Committee of the ACNM and charged with putting together a resource guide on how to obtain prescriptive authority. Since that time, she has lectured on the topic of prescriptive authority and pharmacology on numerous occasions. Mary Ann Faucher currently coordinates the pharmacology module for the Parkland School of Nurse-Midwifery.

  • Greg Jackson MD

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    • Greg Jackson, md, received his M.D. degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 1972, where he also completed his residency in pediatrics in 1975. He is the current Clinical Director of the Newborn Nursery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas (affiliate of University of Texas Health Science Center). He is actively involved in staff development for the pediatric nurse practitioners as well as teaching of house officers and medical students. Prior to his academic appointment, Dr. Jackson was in the private practice of pediatrics for 14 years.

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Certified nurse-midwives, whose responsibility includes care of the newborn in the first days of life, should be well versed in the commonly used pharmaceutical preparations in the neonatal period. This article reviews therapeutic uses and the pharmacodynamics of vitamin K, as well as the neonatal eye preparations for prophylaxis of infections (silver nitrate, tetracycline, and erythromycin ophthalmic ointments). Preparations used in caring for the umbilical cord, as well as the commonly prescribed antibiotics ampioillin and gentamicin, are discussed. The narcotic antagonist naloxone is also reviewed, along with commonly used medications for colic and thrush. The etiology and clinical conditions that require the application of these medications are considered.