Hypoglycemia is a common adverse effect when intravenous (IV) insulin is administered for hyperkalemia. A prolonged infusion of dextrose 10% (D10) may mitigate hypoglycemia compared to dextrose 50% (D50) bolus. Our objective was to evaluate whether D10 infusion is a safe and effective alternative to D50 bolus for hypoglycemia prevention in hyperkalemic patients receiving IV insulin..
..There was no difference in incidence of hypoglycemia between the D50 and D10 groups (16 [22%] vs. 16 [26%], p = 0.77). Symptomatic hypoglycemia, severe hypoglycemia, and hyperglycemia rates in the D50 and D10 groups were [5 (7%) vs. 2 (3%), p = 0.45], [5 (7%) vs. 1 (2%), p = 0.22], and [34 (47%) vs. 23 (37%), p = 0.31] respectively. Low initial BG was a predictor for developing hypoglycemia.
In our study, D10 infusions appeared to be at least as effective as D50 bolus in preventing hypoglycemia in hyperkalemic patients receiving IV insulin. In context of ongoing D50 injection shortages, D10 infusions should be a therapeutic strategy in this patient population.