Dextrose (intravenous)

Dextrose is administered as a sterile solution and is used to provide the body with additional water and calories (carbohydrates from sugar). It is often used when a patient finds themselves unable to consume enough liquids, or in scenarios where additional fluids are required.


Dextrose is a form of Glucose that is administered directly through IV. This medicine is a sterile solution, and is used in situations where the body is not receiving enough liquids, or requires additional calories. This is common when a patient is unable, for whatever reason, to consume liquids or is rapidly losing weight.

Glucose, the natural type of sugar that Dextrose is formed from, is generally produced by the body, in the liver. Glucose is a natural source of energy for the body, and every cell and organ in the body requires Glucose to function correctly and optimally. Glucose as a medication can be given either orally or by an injection, as is the case with Dextrose.

Dextrose's use as a method to provide calories that are carbohydrate-based to a patient who cannot eat is useful in a variety of situations, including when the patient is suffering from sickness, trauma or other medical conditions. Because of this, Dextrose is a multi-purpose drug used in collaboration with other medications for a wide variety of diseases and illnesses.

Dextrose is a medication that is administered in a controlled and clinical environment, and, as such, is only available through the prescription of your doctor.

Conditions Treated

  • A variety of medical conditions resulting in loss of liquids, or where additional fluids may be required.

Type Of Medicine

  • Parenteral Solution
  • Caloric agent

Side Effects

Dextrose has several needed effects, including weight gain and restoration of fluids. In addition to these wanted effects, there are a variety of different symptoms and conditions that can be caused during the course of this medication. It is not likely you will experience every side effect listed, or even none at all, but should you find any of the below side effects occurring, it's important to inform a medical professional as soon as possible, as medical attention may be required.

If any of the following effects happen during treatment with Dextrose, speak to your doctor immediately:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the arms, lower legs or feet
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Sudden onset of slurred speech
  • Sudden loss of coordination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe headaches of sudden onset
  • Rapid breathing
  • Pains in the chest, legs, or groin, especially around the calves
  • Pain, redness, white or pale skin, or an infection around the injection site
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Fast or slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Cough
  • Changes in skin color
  • Blurred vision
  • Bluish color

Dextrose can also be the cause of other, more minor side effects as a result of the increase in calories and liquids within the patients' system. These conditions normally do not require any medical attention, but should be discussed with a doctor if they continue for a long time or do not stop after treatment has concluded:

  • Upset stomach
  • Throwing up
  • Loose stools (diarrhea)

In addition to those listed, Dextrose can cause other side effects. If you notice any other symptoms connected to this medication or feel that a side effect you are experiencing is related to the medicine, consult a medical professional for their opinion, and their support in preventing or avoiding this effect depending on the severity of your condition.

If you wish to report any additional side effects that you are experiencing, you can do so directly by contacting the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

As with many medications, Dextrose can trigger an allergic reaction if you have allergies to any of the substances used in the treatment. Signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction to this medication such as hives, swelling of lips, tongue, face, or throat, or difficulty with breathing should be brought to the attention of an appropriate medical professional as soon as possible.


This medication is available as a 50% Dextrose Injection, USP; this is a sterile, nonpyrogenic, hypertonic form of solution. This dose contains Dextrose in water for intravenous injection as a fluid and nutrient replenisher.

The amount of Dextrose delivered is down to the discretion of your doctor, and is likely to be tailored to each patient. When using 50% Dextrose Injection, every ml of fluid contains 0.5 g dextrose which can deliver 3.4 calories per gram.

Dextrose is only administered within a medical setting, and, as such, Dextrose will be given to you either by a doctor or nurse. Dextrose is delivered via a needle placed in a patient's vein.


A large variety of drugs can cause interactions within the human body. This can result in the way medications work changing, and even cause medications to become ineffective. This can occur whether a medication is currently in use, and in some cases, if it has been used in the past.

To help combat this issue with drug interaction, it is strongly advised that you and your doctor maintain a consistent and up-to-date list of each medication and drug currently in use, as well as those that are no longer in use. This should include not only prescribed medications but other forms of medicine' including herbal treatments and supplements, vitamins and over the counter drugs.

By keeping a comprehensive record, your doctor can prescribe the correct medication for you, meaning your medicine will be more likely to be efficient and less likely to cause harm.

There are no known direct drug interactions between Dextrose and other medications, but your doctor should be made aware of all medications you are taking, as well as any health conditions or allergies you may suffer from.

Dextrose is also not known to have any direct or indirect interactions with food groups, or alcohol and tobacco. However, it's important to discuss this with your doctor before undergoing treatment with Dextrose, as medications used alongside this drug may have their own interactions with food, tobacco or alcohol.

Certain conditions or illnesses, either pre-existing or current, can have a direct impact on the effectiveness and functionality of Dextrose. The presence of these medical conditions can require extra caution, or may render Dextrose a bad choice for your treatment. Inform your doctors if you currently have any of the listed conditions, or have in the past:

  • Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of the arms, lower legs, feet)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
  • Diabetes


Studies taken on the use of Dextrose for children and teenagers have found that there are no specific pediatric problems related to this medication that could limit its usefulness in active treatment. This means that Dextrose is generally considered a safe medication for use with children when this form of treatment is required.

There are few adequate or appropriate studies observing the use of Dextrose in geriatric patients, which means that it is unknown if there are any specific issues or concerns related to using this treatment in older patients. However, patients who are elderly are a great deal more likely to suffer from conditions including liver, kidney and heart problems, both related to medical conditions and age. This may require adjustments or removal of Dextrose as a form of treatment.

Dextrose is registered as FDA category C. This means that animal studies into the use of this medication during pregnancy have shown some adverse effects, but there are not enough studies on pregnant women to make a formal analysis. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during treatment with this medication, it's important to discuss the potential risks of this medicine with a doctor, to ensure you're receiving the safest procedure.

There are little to no adequate or comprehensive studies showing a link between Dextrose and risks to infants in a mother who breastfeeds while under treatment with this medication. It is important to weigh the benefits of breastfeeding against the risks of this medicine. Your doctor will be able to discuss the best way forward for you.

When taking Dextrose, it is critical that a medical professional closely monitors your condition, to ensure that this medication is working correctly. This monitoring may include blood tests to check for the presence of unwanted effects or conditions.

It is important to be vigilant of any signs of fluid and electrolyte problems that may be a result of treatment with Dextrose. Contact your doctor if you find yourself with any of the following symptoms:

  • Very bad upset stomach
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out
  • Unable to pass urine
  • Throwing up
  • Seizures
  • Not hungry
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • More thirst
  • Mood changes
  • Feeling very tired or weak
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Confusion
  • Change in amount of urine produced
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal


Dextrose as an injectable medication is only available to clinical practices and hospitals, and as such is not openly available to the public. This medicine should be stored in an appropriate location that is safe and secure at all times, away from children.

Exposure of Dextrose to heat should be minimized whenever possible. Avoid any excessive heat or rapid changes in temperature. Never freeze this medication. Store Dextrose at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F).


Dextrose is an injectable form of Glucose that is used for situations in which the body is unable to receive enough liquids or calories. This is a common condition when a patient is unable, for whatever reason, to consume liquids or is rapidly losing weight.

Dextrose is used a way to provide caloric intake in a variety of different situations and conditions, including when the patient may be suffering from illness, a form of trauma or other medical problems. Due to this, Dextrose is a multi-purpose medicine used in conjunction with other medications for the treatment of a wide variety of situations.

Dextrose is administered in a controlled and clinical environment, and as such is not available publically.