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Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2010 Dec;7(2):169-73.

Potential of sucrose-induced analgesia to relieve pain in male adults: a preliminary study.

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Department of Nursing, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare, Kurashiki City, Japan.



Sucrose-induced analgesia frequently has been investigated for pain relief during invasive procedures in neonates. This analgesic mechanism is thought to be mediated by the endogenous opioid system, taking advantage of sweet taste. However, few studies have examined the effects of sucrose-induced analgesia in adults. Therefore, this preliminary study examines the analgesic efficacy of a sucrose stimulus on experimentally induced pain in male adults.


A randomized, single-masked, cross-over study was conducted to examine the analgesic effect of a sucrose stimulus in male adults. Experimental pain was induced with the cold pressor test. Prior to and during the cold pressor test, the participants held either a 24% sucrose solution or distilled water as a control in their mouth. The analgesic efficacy was evaluated by using the pain threshold, pain tolerance, Profile of Mood State, and two visual analogue scales of pain intensity and taste pleasantness.


The sucrose stimulus reduced the pain response of the participants. The mean threshold increased significantly when using the 24% sucrose solution, compared with distilled water. The mean tolerance also increased under the sucrose condition. In addition, the taste pleasantness score was significantly higher under the sucrose condition than with distilled water. However, neither condition showed a significant difference in the scores of the visual analogue scales for pain.


These findings suggest that sucrose stimuli might induce the antinociceptive effects on pain in male adults. More trials are needed to further elucidate these effects before this analgesic method can be used for clinical pain in adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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