You can define a prepared statement for repeated use. This can help your code run a bit faster by avoiding the overhead of re-creating the statement each time your code performs the database operation.

Note: Parameter placeholders in prepared statements vary depending on the DBMS and driver you're using. For example, the pq driver for Postgres requires a placeholder like $1 instead of ?.

What is a prepared statement?

A prepared statement is SQL that is parsed and saved by the DBMS, typically containing placeholders but with no actual parameter values. Later, the statement can be executed with a set of parameter values.

How you use prepared statements

When you expect to execute the same SQL repeatedly, you can use an sql.Stmt to prepare the SQL statement in advance, then execute it as needed.

The following example creates a prepared statement that selects a specific album from the database. DB.Prepare returns an sql.Stmt representing a prepared statement for a given SQL text. You can pass the parameters for the SQL statement to Stmt.Exec, Stmt.QueryRow, or Stmt.Query to run the statement.

// AlbumByID retrieves the specified album.
func AlbumByID(id int) (Album, error) {
	// Define a prepared statement. You'd typically define the statement
	// elsewhere and save it for use in functions such as this one.
	stmt, err := db.Prepare("SELECT * FROM album WHERE id = ?")
	if err != nil {

	var album Album

	// Execute the prepared statement, passing in an id value for the
	// parameter whose placeholder is ?
	err := stmt.QueryRow(id).Scan(&album.ID, &album.Title, &album.Artist, &album.Price, &album.Quantity)
	if err != nil {
		if err == sql.ErrNoRows {
			// Handle the case of no rows returned.
		return album, err
	return album, nil

Prepared statement behavior

A prepared sql.Stmt provides the usual Exec, QueryRow, and Query methods for invoking the statement. For more on using these methods, see Querying for data and Executing SQL statements that don't return data.

However, because an sql.Stmt already represents a preset SQL statement, its Exec, QueryRow, and Query methods take only the SQL parameter values corresponding to placeholders, omitting the SQL text.

You can define a new sql.Stmt in different ways, depending on how you will use it.

  • DB.Prepare and DB.PrepareContext create a prepared statement that can be executed in isolation, by itself outside a transaction, just like DB.Exec and DB.Query are.
  • Tx.Prepare, Tx.PrepareContext, Tx.Stmt, and Tx.StmtContext create a prepared statement for use in a specific transaction. Prepare and PrepareContext use SQL text to define the statement. Stmt and StmtContext use the result of DB.Prepare or DB.PrepareContext. That is, they convert a not-for-transactions sql.Stmt into a for-this-transaction sql.Stmt.
  • Conn.PrepareContext creates a prepared statement from an sql.Conn, which represents a reserved connection.

Be sure that stmt.Close is called when your code is finished with a statement. This will release any database resources (such as underlying connections) that may be associated with it. For statements that are only local variables in a function, it's enough to defer stmt.Close().

Functions for creating a prepared statement