According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, maltose is used as a stabilizing agent or an osmolality regulator. Maltose can be converted from icodextrin which is used in dialysis solutions.
Maltose is generally used as a sweetener, although it is not as sweet as fructose and other fruit-based sweeteners. It can also be used in fermentation processes, to extend shelf life of foods and to help people who have an issue with dry mouth. It is a natural sweetener, but it can be difficult on the digestive system. People who use large quantities of maltose may have more digestive issues. Maltose is a sugar that does contain glucose and should be used accordingly, although it does not have as high of a glycemic index as true glucose does.
Although maltose is an alternative sweetener, people who have used it and then taken blood glucose tests may get false results. Since maltose can show up as glucose on a glucose blood test strip, it may cause a person to have a false test and may cause a doctor to misdiagnose an issue and prescribe something that may not be necessary. An incorrect diagnosis and prescription of medication can lead to hypoglycemia that can be fatal in rare cases.