What is glucose? What is glucose used for?

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.

What is the dosage for glucose?

The usual dose of glucose for hypoglycemia is 10-20 gm orally or by intravenous infusion. The oral dose may be repeated in 10 minutes if hypoglycemic symptoms do not resolve. Oral glucose must be swallowed to be effective.

Which drugs or supplements interact with glucose?

: Glucose increases blood glucose levels and reduces the effect of diabetes medications.

Is glucose safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Glucose may be used to manage hypoglycemia in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about glucose?

What preparations of glucose are available?

  • Chewable Tablet: 1 gm, 4 gm, 5 gm; Tablet: 4 gm,;
  • Oral Gel/Jelly: 15 gm;
  • Intravenous solution/Injection: 2.5 %, 5 %, 10 %, 20 %, 25 %, 30 %, 40 %, 50 %, 70 %

How should I keep glucose stored?

Glucose should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F) in a tight container.

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Summary

Glucose (Insta-Glucose, Dex4 and others) also referred to as dextrose is a simple sugar used to manage hypoglycemia, and for IV feeding. Side effects, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to using this product.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/23/2019
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