> Western Medicines > Dextrose


Used for: Hypoglycemia, Nutritional supplementation, Glucose tolerance test
Chinese name:

What is Dextrose for?

Dextrose is the name of simple sugar which is chemically identical to glucose. It occurs naturally in many types of foods, including corn, fruits and honey. It is often used as a sweetener in food. Dextrose powder and dextrose candy are available in many stores.


Medically speaking, our body uses dextrose to raise blood sugar levels quickly to raise blood sugar levels for energy. Diabetic patients may carry Dextrose with them in case of hypoglycemic emergencies (when blood glucose suddenly drops too low). 


Nevertheless, dextrose is often used as a component in total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in combination with other carbohydrates, fats and amino acids to provide nutrition to those who cannot absorb nutrients through their gut. Dextrose is also used in glucose tolerance tests to diagnose diabetes mellitus (a condition of elevated blood sugar).

How to use it?

Dextrose is available as hard candies and oral powder of many flavours. If you use Dextrose powder, mix it with a cup of water or other drinks and drink it. You will feel less dizzy and more energetic in a few minutes after consuming Dextrose.


Dextrose is also available as injection/infusion solutions of different concentrations, which are injected/infused through a needle into a vein as directed by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and frequency depending on your condition.


Glucose tolerance test
A test dose of 75 g of anhydrous dextrose dissolved in water should be given to fasting patients. Measure blood glucose concentrations at intervals.

What are the side effects of Dextrose?

Common side effects of Dextrose include chills, electrolyte imbalance, raised body temperature, fever, fluid imbalance, allergic reactions, and rash.

Who should not take Dextrose?

  • People who are allergic to Dextrose or any component of the formulation.

Pharmacist Tips:

  • People with diabetes or hypoglycaemia (chronically low blood sugar) may carry Dextrose tablets or gels in case their blood sugar drops too low.

Common dosing schedule:
Dextrose may be taken at any time.


This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.


Some common medications Dextrose may interact with:
Dextrose has no known interactions with common medications.

Where to buy Dextrose in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Dextrose oral powder is an over-the-counter medicine and can be purchased without a prescription from any retail outlet in Hong Kong. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, medicine shops, and pharmacies. Dextrose injection is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.


For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Dextrose in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

Brands in Hong Kong
Available dosage
  • 5% / 10% / 25% / 30% / 40% / 50% / 70% (Injections)
  • 50g (Oral Powder)
Drug class
Sub class
Parenteral Nutrition, Monosaccharides
Alternative Names
Other drugs in same class
Used for: Nutritional supplementation
Chinese name: