What is Sucrose

Sucrose is a nonreducing disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. It is obtained commercially from sugarcane, sugar beets (Beta vulgaris), and other plants; it is commonly used as a food and sweetener.

Oral sucrose is a combination of sucrose and purified water solution. Sucrose has been reported to have analgesic properties in neonates and infants. Early studies of neurologic development concluded that neonates did not feel pain, and they were frequently given no analgesia.

Subsequent studies have found that neuroanatomical components and neuroendocrine systems are sufficiently developed to allow transmission of painful stimuli in the neonate. A summary of the proceedings from the Neonatal Pain-Control Group, include oral sucrose as a therapeutic option of the prevention and management of neonatal pain and stress.

The American and Canadian Pediatric Societies have recommended the use of oral sucrose for minor painful procedures, but state that analgesic treatment should be provided for moderate or severe pain.

Studies in neonates and infants have shown that using a pacifier, in conjunction with oral sucrose, may enhance the analgesic effect.

Although not FDA-approved, sucrose has been used in pediatric patients as young as premature neonates.

Brand Name

Sweet Ease


  • mild pain

General Dosing Information

  • Oral sucrose is ineffective when administered intragastrically; efficacy is dependent on administration into the mouth with non-nutritive sucking.

For the prevention and management of mild pain associated with procedures (i.e. heel lancing, venipuncture, etc.) or immunizations

Side Effects

  • apnea
  • bradycardia
  • cough

Monitoring Parameters

  • laboratory monitoring not necessary


  • fistula
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • premature neonates
  • respiratory insufficiency


No information is available regarding drug interactions associated with Sucrose


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