Diabetics and other people with hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, run out of energy when their glucose levels drop too low. These reactions can lead to unconsciousness if not treated in a timely matter.
Reactions can occur suddenly, however glucose levels can be brought back to normal by eating or drinking carbohydrates. It is recommended by The American Diabetes Association (ADA) to carry something containing 15 grams of glucose at all times in order to treat these sometimes sudden reactions.
Oral glucose gel is used to raise dangerously low blood sugar. It may be self-administered or given by an EMT responding to a diabetic emergency. As glucose molecules will not absorb directly though oral tissue it is either swallowed directly, or allowed to stay in the mouth momentarily to facilitate rapid conversion into starch then swallowed to allow absorption into the blood via the small intestine.
Oral glucose gel usually is found in single-use tubes providing a dose of 15 grams of glucose, or resealable tubes with a total of 45 grams of glucose. It is usually fruit-flavored. Common brands include GlucoBurst Glucose Gel (manufactured by PBM Products) Insta-Glucose (manufactured by Valeant) and Glutose (manufactured by Paddock Labs), as well as several store brands.