5 Dextrose vs Dextrose Saline: Difference and Comparison

Dextrose is a type of sugar. It also gets called an intravenous sugar solution, as the solution of dextrose is supposed to be administrated into one or more veins.

Both 5 dextrose and dextrose saline contain dextrose, and yet they are not similar solutions. They have different compositions and functions, and they work as a treatment for different ailments.

Key Takeaways

  1. 5% Dextrose is a dextrose solution in water, while Dextrose Saline combines dextrose and saline.
  2. Dextrose Saline replenishes water and electrolytes, whereas 5% Dextrose only provides water and energy.
  3. Both solutions are used for intravenous administration, but Dextrose Saline is more suitable for patients with electrolyte imbalances.

5 Dextrose vs Dextrose Saline

5 Dextrose refers to dextrose 5%, a solution of dextrose in water commonly used as an intravenous (IV) fluid to provide energy to patients. Dextrose saline is a combination of dextrose and saline (salt water) that is used as an IV fluid to provide energy and hydration to patients.

5 Dextrose vs Dextrose Saline

Dextrose is a type of sugar, and 5% dextrose is required in the solution. This solution is a great treatment for dehydration and low blood sugar.

It maintains the glucose and water of the body and is capable of working as both isotonic and hypotonic. This is a mixture of dextrose and water and nothing else.

Dextrose saline, as the name implies, is a type of saline which includes water and sodium chloride in addition to dextrose. It replaces the lost water in the body.

Its elements let it work as a hypertonic. It works through the veins and is a source of nourishment.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison5 DextroseDextrose Saline
Meaning It is a mixture of water and dextrose where the quantity of dextrose is 5%.It is a mixture of water, sodium chloride and dextrose.
Source of It provides calories and also supplies carbohydrates.It supplies electrolytes.
CompositionIt is made of dextrose and water. It is made of water, dextrose and sodium chloride.
TypeIn the beginning, it is isotonic and then becomes hypotonic.It is hypertonic.
Usage5 dextrose is for maintaining water balance in the body.Dextrose saline is for replacing the water loss after surgery.

What is 5 Dextrose?

The 5 in 5 dextrose stands for 5 per cent of dextrose. It is a mixture of water and dextrose. It is an intravenous solution, which means this solution is given through nerves.

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Dextrose is a type of sugar, so 5 dextrose is a sugar solution. To make this solution, one needs to put 5 gms of dextrose in 100 ml of water. The dextrorotatory glucose will easily dissolve in water. 

Water that goes out of the cell gets balanced by the water into the cell. This is why it works as an isotonic solution. It starts this process soon as it gets injected into the body. It does not act as the cause of increasing heat in the body.

Parenteral Fluid Therapy can be done by using 5 dextroses. Patients who cannot eat solid food through the mouth get this therapy, and 5 dextrose solution gets used for them.

It revives patients who are suffering from dehydration. This solution replaces the fluid that gets lost and keeps the fluid requirement intact. 5 dextrose is enriched with nutrients such as calories and carbohydrates, and due to this, it gets used in the treatment of low blood sugar.

What is Dextrose Saline?

Dextrose saline is a sugar solution where sodium chloride and water get used in addition to dextrose. Sodium chloride, or in plain words, salt, gets dissolved in water as usual.

This sterile solution is intravenous, which gets administered directly into the veins. It works as an electrolyte that helps to replenish the fluids in the body.

Ideally, this solution should contain 5% dextrose and 0.45% sodium chloride. So in 100ml of water, 5g of dextrose and 0.45g of sodium chloride should get mixed.

Dextrose saline is hypertonic, and when it is administered to the veins, it nourishes the body in the shape of carbohydrates and electrolytes.

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As this solution includes sodium chloride, aka NaCl, it contains Na+ ions and Cl– ions, and these ions are very important for our body. However, this mixture has no sort of anti-microbial agents in it.

dextrose saline scaled

Main Differences Between 5 Dextrose and Dextrose Saline

  1. 5 dextrose is a mixture of water and dextrose, where the quantity of dextrose is 5%, while dextrose saline is a mixture of water, sodium chloride and dextrose.
  2. 5 dextrose does not contain sodium chloride or NaCl or, in plain words, salt. However, dextrose saline contains sodium chloride as one of its ingredients.
  3. 5 dextrose provides calories and also supplies carbohydrates to the patient; however, dextrose saline supplies electrolytes.
  4. 5 dextrose is for maintaining the body’s water balance, and Dextrose saline, on the other hand, is responsible for replacing the water that gets lost during and post-surgery.
  5. 5 dextrose is for people who are unable to eat anything through their mouth, and dextrose saline is meant to replace lost fluid after surgery.
  6. In the beginning, 5 dextrose is isotonic, and later it becomes hypotonic, but dextrose saline is always hypertonic.
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673682922279
  2. https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/fulltext/2013/02000/Dextrose_Saline_Compared_With_Normal_Saline.13.aspx

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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10 thoughts on “5 Dextrose vs Dextrose Saline: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Now I understand the difference between the two. It was a little unclear to me before, but this article solved all my doubts.


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