Dextrose is a sugar that your body produces naturally. However, it is also used to help administer certain medications intravenously or increas...

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What Is Dextrose Used For?

Dextrose, also known as glucose, is found in the blood and used in various cellular processes, such as cellular respiration and glycolysis. It is used in medical applications when a patient is unable to consume enough liquids, or to help with the injection of other medicines.

It is also used as an artificial sweetener in some foods.

What Precautions Should I Be Aware Of?

Limit your intake of foods containing dextrose, as excessive use has been linked to:

  • hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • hyponatremia (a lack of sodium in the blood)

Be sure to tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or have diabetes. These conditions may affect treatment.

How Should I Use This Medicine?

Dextrose occurs naturally in the body, but can be added to foods as a sweetener, or via intravenous solution.

For intravenous use, a nurse or other health professional will administer the medication to you.   

What Side Effects May I Experience?

Some people have reported allergic reactions to dextrose. Be sure to contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • swelling of your appendages
  • trouble breathing 

How Should I Store This?

Store dextrose in a dry, cool place at room temperature.

Other Names/Brand Names

Dextrose is also known as:

  • glucose
  • D-glucose
  • grape sugar
  • blood sugar

Additional Information

Older and overweight people should take special precautions with their dextrose intake.

Written by: Julia Haskins
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: George Krucik, MD, MBA
Published: Jan 15, 2013
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
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