Sweet Solutions Help Control Pain In Infants, According to Canadian Study

December 22, 2016

Sweet solutions clearly help mitigate pain in newborns, and further placebo-controlled trials are not needed or ethical, the authors of a large analysis conclude.  “Future neonatal pain studies need to select more ethically responsible control groups,” Denise Harrison, PhD, of the Children’s Hospital of Ontario Research Institute and the School of Nursing at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and colleagues write in an article published online December 16 in Pediatrics.  50 trials of 3341 infants found a standardized mean difference in pain scores of −0.90 in favor of the sweet solutions over control or placebo (95% confidence interval, −1.09 to −0.70). For crying time, the mean difference was −23.18 seconds in favor of sweet solutions (95% confidence interval, −28.89 to −17.47) in 29 trials totaling 1775 infants.  “[S]ince the first few trials were published, there was sufficient evidence to show that sweet solutions reduce behavioral responses of crying time and composite pain intensity scores compared with no treatment or placebo,” the authors wrote.