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Dextrose (Oral)


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 19, 2019.

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • CVS Glucose
  • Dex4
  • Enfamil Glucose
  • Glutol
  • Glutose
  • Insta-Glucose
  • Similac Glucose

In Canada

  • Glucodex 100 G
  • Glucodex 50 G
  • Glucodex 75 G

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Tablet
  • Gel/Jelly
  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Nutritive Agent

Uses for dextrose

Dextrose oral gel is used to treat hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) before unconsciousness occurs.

Dextrose is available without a doctor's prescription.

Before using dextrose

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For dextrose, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to dextrose or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Use of dextrose oral gel is not recommended in children younger than 2 years of age.


No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of dextrose oral gel in geriatric patients.


Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of dextrose. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Trouble swallowing or
  • Unconsciousness—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.

Proper use of dextrose

Take dextrose only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.

Carefully follow all of your doctor's instructions when treating low blood sugar.

Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using dextrose without a prescription.

To use the gel:

  • Twist tip off and squeeze entire contents of the tube into mouth and swallow.
  • Do not use the medicine if tube has been opened or punctured.

Dextrose is to be used only when needed.


The dose of dextrose will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of dextrose. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (gel):
    • For treatment of low blood sugar:
      • Adults—15 grams (1 tube) as needed. If no response within 15 minutes, take again another dose. If there is no response within 30 minutes, call a doctor.
      • Children 2 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Use is not recommended.


Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Precautions while using dextrose

Your doctor will check your progress closely while you are receiving dextrose. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.

Dextrose side effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Incidence not known

  • Cough
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • fast heartbeat
  • hives, itching, or skin rash
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.