What is dextrose?


Generic Name: Dextrose Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is dextrose used for?

Dextrose is used for providing fluids containing various amounts of sugars to your body when you are not able to drink enough liquids or when additional fluids are needed. It may also be used as a way to give other injectable medicines.

Dextrose is a sterile solution injected intravenously (IV, into the vein).

How should I take dextrose?

Use dextrose as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Dextrose is usually administered as an injection at your doctor’s office, hospital, or clinic. If you are using dextrose at home, carefully follow the injection procedures taught to you by your health care provider.
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and away from pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Dispose of properly after use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain local regulations for proper disposal.
  • If dextrose contains particles or is discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged in any way, do not use it.
  • Do not administer through the same IV set at the same time as blood.
  • If you miss a dose of dextrose, contact your doctor immediately.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use dextrose.

How do I store dextrose?

Dextrose is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store dextrose in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of dextrose that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush dextrose down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using dextrose?

Some medical conditions may interact with dextrose. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding;
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement;
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances;
  • if you are in a coma (caused by diabetes or liver complications);
  • if you have confusion, memory problems, or bleeding in your head or spine;
  • if you have diabetes or high levels of galactose in the blood.

Is it safe to take dextrose during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of dextrose?

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

  • Increased urination; pain, redness, or swelling at injection site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

  • Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); confusion; muscle twitching; seizures; swelling of the hands or feet; weakness.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with dextrose?

Dextrose may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with dextrose?

Dextrose may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with dextrose?

Dextrose may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Diabetes;
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar);
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood);
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of the arms, feet, or lower legs);
  • Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Dextrose for an adult?

Adult: 10-20 g orally as single dose; may repeat in 10 min if needed.
Adult: 10-25 g Intravenously (40-100 ml of 25% solution or 20-50 ml of 50% solution). Doses may be repeated in severe cases.
Adult: 25-50 g Intravenously combined with 10 units of regular insulin, administered over 30-60 minutes; may repeat if necessary. Alternatively, 25 g combined with 5-10 units of regular insulin infused over 5 minutes; may repeat if necessary.

What is the dose of Dextrose for a child?


Child: greater than 2 year: 10-20 g orally as single dose; may repeat in 10 min if needed.

Child: less than 6 month: 0.25-0.5 g/kg/dose intravenously; greater than 6 month: 0.5-1 g/kg/dose. Doses may be repeated in severe cases. Max: 25 g/dose.


Child: and infants: 0.5-1 g/kg intravenously (using 25% or 50% solution) combined with regular insulin (1 unit for every 4-5 g dextrose given); infuse over 2 hr, may repeat if necessary.

How is dextroseavailable?

Dextrose is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Solution, intravenous: 5%, 10%, 20%, 40%

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of dextrose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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