"Sucrose analgesia" and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunizations at 2 and 4 months

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1995 Aug;16(4):220-5.


In human newborns, small amounts of sucrose reduce crying with procedural pain by about 50%. To determine whether "sucrose analgesia" could be extended to painful procedures beyond the newborn period, 57 infants were randomly assigned to receive three 250-microliters doses of 50% sucrose solution (g/100 mL) or water before their diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunizations at 2 and 4 months of age. Crying during and after injection was measured separately to determine whether sucrose modified crying during the noxious stimulus, recovery from the stimulus, or both. Sucrose was effective in reducing crying only from 83 to 69%, and the reduction was limited to the postinjection period. We conclude that, although sucrose continues to have some effect beyond the newborn period, the effect is limited to recovery from the noxious stimulus, is clinically modest, and is probably smaller than in the newborn period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crying
  • Diphtheria / immunology*
  • Diphtheria / prevention & control*
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Tetanus / immunology*
  • Tetanus / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination
  • Whooping Cough / immunology*
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control*


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Sucrose