Medically reviewed on September 26, 2017
What is glucose?
Glucose is a form of natural sugar that is normally produced by the liver. Glucose is a source of energy, and all the cells and organs in your body need glucose to function properly. Glucose as a medication is given either by mouth (orally) or by injection.
Glucose is used to treat very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), most often in people with diabetes mellitus. Glucose is given by injection to treat insulin shock (low blood sugar caused by using insulin and then not eating a meal or eating enough food afterward). This medicine works by quickly increasing the amount of glucose in your blood.
Glucose is also used to provide carbohydrate calories to a person who cannot eat because of illness, trauma, or other medical condition. Glucose is sometimes given to people who are sick from drinking too much alcohol.
Glucose may also be used to treat hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in your blood).
Glucose may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take glucose tablets, liquid, or gel if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in these forms of the medicine.
If possible before you receive a glucose injection, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
diabetes (unless you are using this medicine to treat insulin-induced hypoglycemia);
heart disease, coronary artery disease, or a stroke;
a possible head injury;
any food allergies.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How should I use glucose?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
If you take glucose gel in a pre-measured tube, be sure to swallow the entire contents of the tube to get a full dose.
Your hypoglycemia symptoms should improve in about 10 minutes after taking oral glucose. If not, take another dose. Seek medical attention if you still have hypoglycemia symptoms after taking two doses.
Glucose injection is given through an IV into a vein. Do not inject this medicine into a muscle or under the skin. A glucose injection should be given only as an intravenous (IV) injection.
A glucose injection should be given slowly. Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when glucose is injected.
You may be shown how to use an IV at home. Do not give yourself this medicine if you do not understand how to use the injection and properly dispose of needles, IV tubing, and other items used.
Use a disposable needle, syringe, or prefilled syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Check the expiration date on your medicine label each time you use glucose. If the medicine has been stored for a long time, the expiration date may have passed and the glucose may not work as well.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the medicine container tightly closed when not in use.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since glucose is used when needed, it does not have a daily dosing schedule. Call your doctor promptly if your symptoms do not improve after using glucose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using glucose?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Glucose side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tell your caregivers or call your doctor right away if you have:
redness, swelling, warmth, or skin changes where an injection was given;
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
swelling in your hands or feet; or
sweating, pale skin, severe shortness of breath, chest pain.
Common side effects of glucose injection may include:
pain or tenderness where an injection was given; or
flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling) for several minutes after a glucose injection.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect glucose?
Other drugs may interact with glucose, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.03.
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