This question points to the UoM web site which talks about using pacifiers sweetened with a sugar solution, something I'm not familiar with.

EMLA and giving glucose (a sugar solution) together were found to alleviate immunization pain in a study of three-month-old infants.


For venipuncture (blood draw), a study found that glucose on a pacifier was more effective at reducing infants’ pain than EMLA cream.


A review of 17 different studies on giving sucrose with or without sucking on a bottle or pacifier concluded that sucrose is safe and effective for reducing pain from minor medical procedures;

Those quotes from the site seems to imply that the glucose performed more than just as a distraction. My first thought is that the sugar can't possibly have the implied analgesic effect, that it has to be just for the distraction, or behavioural intervention, but they do discuss specifically that it reduced the infants' pain.

Is it really as straightforward as it seems? (i.e. I'm just reading too much into it, yes?)

asked 02 Dec '09, 17:15

Jeff's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

edited 15 Jan '10, 17:47

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Tammy ♦♦


Distraction does reduce pain, or at least the perception of it, so either way, the functional result is the same, yes?

(02 Dec '09, 18:02) ceejayoz

I breastfed mine during, or shortly after, injections, which seemed to help. I suppose it's pretty similar.

(15 Jan '10, 18:21) Meg Stephenson

@Meg, wow, during sounds dangerous to me, or did they not yet have any teeth? :)

(26 May '10, 13:10) Benjol

The original link includes references one of which is an article in the American Family Physician journal. In the article it states:

Endorphin release activated by the sweet-tasting solution may account for the analgesic effect.


answered 02 Dec '09, 17:55

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

edited 15 Jan '10, 15:14

So it would seem that potentially it provides both effects. Interesting, indeed. Thanks

(02 Dec '09, 18:07) Jeff

The resident who circumcised my son used the same method in conjunction with a local anesthetic when she did the procedure.


answered 02 Dec '09, 23:45

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accept rate: 8%

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Asked: 02 Dec '09, 17:15

Seen: 3,421 times

Last updated: 15 Jan '10, 17:47