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The Combined Use of Sucrose and Nonnutritive Sucking for Procedural Pain in Both Term and Preterm Neonates: An Integrative Review of the Literature

Ann Naughton, Kelli MSN, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): Ikuta, Linda

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e31827ed9d3
Foundations in Newborn Care

Many agents, both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic, have been studied to alleviate neonatal pain, and the research is extensive. The 2 most commonly studied nonpharmacologic agents studied have been sucrose and nonnutritive sucking (NNS). There is increasing evidence that the synergistic effect of sucrose and NNS is more effective than the effect of sucrose or NNS alone. The purpose of this integrative review of the literature was to determine whether there is a relationship between the synergistic effect of combining sucrose and NNS administered before and during painful procedures, and reducing procedural pain in both preterm and term neonates. This integrative review indicates that the combination of sucrose and NNS is a safe, effective, and clinically significant means of providing procedural pain relief in neonates, both term and preterm.

Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, SUNY Stony Brook University School of Nursing, New York, and Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park.

Correspondence: Kelli Ann Naughton, MSN, NNP-BC, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine, 269-01 76th Ave, Suite 344, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no financial relationships related to this article.

© 2013 National Association of Neonatal Nurses