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Intervention Review

Sucrose for analgesia in newborn infants undergoing painful procedures

  1. Bonnie Stevens2,
  2. Janet Yamada1,*,
  3. Arne Ohlsson3

Editorial Group: Cochrane Neonatal Group

Published Online: 20 JAN 2010

Assessed as up-to-date: 24 AUG 2009

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001069.pub3

How to Cite

Stevens B, Yamada J, Ohlsson A. Sucrose for analgesia in newborn infants undergoing painful procedures. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD001069. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001069.pub3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Hospital for Sick Children, Nursing, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    The Hospital for Sick Children, Associate Chief of Nursing Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  3. 3

    University of Toronto, Departments of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

*Janet Yamada, Nursing, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1X8, Canada.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: New search for studies and content updated (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 20 JAN 2010


This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (31 JAN 2013)



  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要


Administration of oral sucrose with and without non-nutritive sucking is frequently used as a non-pharmacological intervention for procedural pain relief in neonates.


To determine the efficacy, effect of dose and safety of oral sucrose for relieving procedural pain in neonates.

Search methods

The standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group were used.

Selection criteria

Randomized controlled trials in which term and/or preterm neonates (postnatal age maximum of 28 days corrected for postmenstrual age) received sucrose for procedural pain. Control conditions included water, pacifier, positioning/containing or breastfeeding.

Data collection and analysis

The main outcome measures were physiological and/or behavioural pain indicators and/or composite pain scores. A weighted mean difference (WMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) using the fixed effects model was reported for continuous outcome measures.

Main results

Forty-four studies enrolling 3,496 infants were included. Results from only a few studies could be combined in meta-analyses. Sucrose significantly reduced duration of total crying time (seconds) [WMD -39.26 (95% CI -44.29, -34.24), 88 neonates], but did not reduce duration of first cry (seconds) during heel lance [WMD -8.99 (95% CI -20.07, 2.10), 192 neonates]. No significant differences were found for percent change in heart rate from baseline at one minute [WMD 0.90 (95% CI -5.81, 7.61), 86 neonates] and three minutes [WMD -6.20 (95% CI -15.27, 2.88), 86 neonates] post-heel lance, or for mean heart rate at three minutes post-heel lance [WMD -0.98 (95% CI -8.29, 6.32), 154 neonates]. Oxygen saturation (%) was significantly lower in infants given sucrose during ROP examination compared to controls [WMD -2.58 (95% CI -4.94, - 0.23), 62 neonates]. Infants given sucrose post-heel lance had significantly lower PIPP scores at 30 seconds [WMD -1.64 (95% CI -2.47, - 0.81), 220 neonates] and 60 seconds [WMD -2.05 (95% CI -3.08, -1.02), 195 neonates]. For ROP exams, sucrose did not significantly reduce PIPP scores [WMD -0.65 (95% CI -1.88, 0.59), 82 neonates]. There were no differences in adverse effects between sucrose and control groups.

Authors' conclusions

Sucrose is safe and effective for reducing procedural pain from single events. An optimal dose could not be identified due to inconsistency in effective sucrose dosage among studies.

Further investigation on repeated administration of sucrose in neonates and the use of sucrose in combination with other non-pharmacological (e.g. behavioural, physical) and pharmacologic interventions is needed. Sucrose use in extremely low birth-weight and unstable and/or ventilated neonates needs to be addressed.


Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要

Sucrose for analgesia in newborn infants undergoing painful procedures

Sucrose (sugar) provides pain relief for newborn babies having painful events such as needles or heel pricks. Newborn babies undergoing these events need strategies to reduce their pain. Pain medicine is usually given for major painful events (such as surgery) but may not be given for more minor events (such as taking blood or needles). Pain medicine can be used to reduce pain but there are several other methods including sucking on a pacifier with or without sucrose. Researchers have found that giving sucrose to babies decreases their crying time and behaviours such as grimacing. More research is needed to determine if giving repeated doses of sucrose is safe and effective, especially for very low birth weight infants or infants on respirators.



  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要


對新生嬰兒進行會產生疼痛之醫療行為時使用蔗糖 (Sucrose) 來止痛





採用Cochrane Neonatal Collaborative Review Group標準搜尋策略




主要的結果測量為生理疼痛指標或行為疼痛指標或綜合型的疼痛評分。針對具有連續性數據的結果測量方式,有報告使用固定效果模型之95% 信賴區間(CI)的加權平均差(WMD)。


共收集了包含3,496名嬰兒參與在內的44份研究。當中只有的少數研究所得到的結果可以在統合分析當中加以合併。蔗糖很明顯地縮短了整個哭鬧時間(秒數)的長度[WMD−39.26(95% CI −44.29,−34.24),88名新生兒],但是在腳跟穿刺期間,並沒有縮短扎腳跟採血之醫療行為時第1次哭鬧的時間[WMD −8.99(95% CI −20.07,2.10),192名新生兒]。在扎腳跟採血後1分鐘[WMD 0.90(95% CI −5.81,7.61),86名新生兒]及3分鐘[WMD −6.20(95% CI −15.27,2.88),86名新生兒]之心跳速率相對於基礎線之百分比變化,以及3分鐘時[WMD −0.98(95% CI −8.29,6.32),154名新生兒]之平均心跳速率而言,都沒有發現到任何明顯的差異。跟對照組相較起來,在ROP (視網膜病變) 檢查之醫療行為時,接受蔗糖的嬰兒身上所測得的血氧濃度(%)明顯地比較低[WMD −2.58 (95% CI −4.94, −0.23), 62名新生兒]。對於腳跟穿刺之後接受了蔗糖的嬰兒而言,在30秒時 [WMD −1.64(95% CI −2.47, −0.81),220名新生兒]以及60秒時 [WMD −2.05(95% CI −3.08, −1.02),195名新生兒]所測得的PIPP (綜合型的疼痛評分) 得分,很明顯地都比較低。就ROP檢查來看,蔗糖並不能夠明顯地讓PIPP得分下降[WMD −0.65(95% CI −1.88,0.59),82名新生兒]。在蔗糖與對照組之間,並沒有發現副作用方面有任何的差異。




此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院 (National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan) 統籌。