The analgesic properties of intraoral sucrose: an integrative review

Adv Neonatal Care. 2011 Apr;11(2):83-92; quiz 93-4. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e318210d043.


The treatment of pain is an essential component of the clinical and ethical care of infants. Despite evidence-based practice consensus statements recommending that infants receive analgesia during minor painful procedures, numerous studies have shown that procedural pain remains poorly managed in this population. Oral sucrose administration has been associated with calming effects and reductions in observed pain behaviors with preterm and term infants aged up to 1 year. The objective of this integrative review is to synthesize findings from published randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of oral sucrose as a preprocedural intervention for mild to moderate procedural pain in infants. Overall, studies indicate that oral sucrose is an effective, safe, convenient, and immediate-acting analgesic for reducing crying time and significantly decreases biobehavioral pain response following painful procedures with infants.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Analgesia / methods
  • Analgesics / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage*


  • Analgesics
  • Sucrose