glucose (Insta-Glucose, Dex4, Enfamil Glucose, Glutol, Glutose and many others)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

What is glucose, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Glucose also known as dextrose is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) that is used to increase the level of blood sugar (glucose) when the level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Glucose in this form increases the level of the blood sugar, so it is a glucose-elevating agent. Other glucose-elevating agents are diazoxide (Proglycem) and glucagon.

Glucose is the primary fuel used by most cells in the body to generate the energy that is needed to carry out cellular functions. When glucose levels fall to hypoglycemic levels, cells cannot function normally, and symptoms develop such as nervousness, cool skin, headache, confusion, convulsions, or coma. Ingested glucose is absorbed directly into the blood from the intestine and results in a rapid increase in the blood glucose level.

What brand names are available for glucose?

Insta-Glucose, Dex4, Glutose, Insulin Reaction, BD Glucose and many others

Do I need a prescription for glucose?

no

What are the side effects of glucose?

Nausea may occur after ingesting glucose, but this also may be an effect of the hypoglycemia which is present just prior to ingestion. Other adverse effects include:

  • increased blood glucose,
  • injection site leakage of fluid (extravasation),
  • injection site inflammation, and
  • bleeding in the brain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2017

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