Drug Summary

Dextrose

Pharmacologic properties:

Dextrose is a simple monosaccharide also known as glucose. It provides calories for metabolic needs, sparing body proteins and loss of electrolytes. Dextrose is a hypertonic solution that is readily excreted by the kidneys producing diuresis.

Indications:

  • Hypoglycemia
    • Adult < 70 mg/dL (< 50 mg/dL if suspected stroke)
    • Pediatric < 70 mg/dL
  • Coma of unknown origin (altered level of consciousness), and unable to perform glucose check

Contraindications:

  • Stroke or acute brain injury with glucose > 50 mg/dL

Precautions:

  • May theoretically precipitate Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome if given without thiamine in chronic alcohol dependence and malnutrition

Adverse reactions:

  • Thrombosis, sclerosing if given in a peripheral vein
  • Tissue irritation if infiltrates.
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypokalemia

Dosage and administration:

  • Adult
    • 50 ml of a 50% solution (25gm) IV
  • Pediatric
    • D10W at 5 ml/kg for children < 1 year old (maximum dose 40 ml)
    • D25W at 2 ml/kg for children 1-8 years old (maximum dose 50 ml)
    • D50W at 1 ml/kg for children ≥ 9 years old (maximum dose 50 ml)
Dextrose Administration Summary Table
Age Threshold glucose (mg/dL) Dosage Dextrose solution
< 1YR < 70 5 mL/kg 10%
1-8 YRS < 70 2 mL/kg 25%
≥ 9YRS < 70 1 mL/kg 50%
Adult < 70 50 mL 50%