Oral dextrose for analgesia in neonates during nasogastric tube insertion: A randomised controlled trial


  • Conflict of interest: None.



This study aims to determine if oral dextrose solution can mitigate the pain response to nasogastric tube (NGT) insertion in neonates.


The study was a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised controlled trial. One hundred and fifty consecutive neonates were randomised into three groups to receive 25% dextrose (D25), or 10% dextrose (D10) or placebo (distilled water). An NGT was inserted after giving 2 mL of one of the solutions orally. Pain response was assessed using the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP), and the duration of cry was noted within 60 s of the intervention. Total PIPP score, duration of cry, change in heart rate and oxygen saturation (SpO2) were compared among the three groups.


Neonates who received D25 had significantly lesser pain response to NGT insertion in terms of lower PIPP score (P < 0.05) and duration of cry (P = 0.001) compared to D10. There was a significantly smaller increase in heart rate and decrease in SpO2 (P < 0.05). In comparison with placebo, D10 significantly decreased duration of cry (P < 0.05) but not PIPP score.


Oral D25 was effective in reducing the pain response during NGT insertion in neonates when compared with oral D10 and placebo. Oral D10 was not found to have a potent analgesic effect for the same.