Intra-oral administration of sweet-tasting substances and infants' crying response to immunization: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Biol Neonate. 2002;81(3):163-9. doi: 10.1159/000051529.


The analgesic effects of four solutions administered intra-orally (25 and 50% sucrose solutions, hydrogenated glucose, and a sterile water placebo) were tested in groups of babies receiving routine DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) and HIB (Haemophilus influenzae type B) injections at the first, second, or third immunization. The duration of the baby's cry during 3 min following DTP and HIB injections was measured as main outcome. For all three immunization groups, the babies receiving the placebo generally spent most time crying. For both the DTP and HIB injections, the difference between 50% sucrose and placebo was most evident in the group receiving the 3rd immunization. Intra-oral administration of the 50% sucrose solution, compared to placebo, appeared to reduce the cry response to painful experiences in babies beyond the neonatal period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Crying*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Infant
  • Placebos
  • Solutions
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Time Factors


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Placebos
  • Solutions
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose