Effect of Hypertonic Glucose on the Muscular Cramps of Hemodialysis

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The effect of hypertonic (50%) glucose injected for relief of hemodialysis-induced muscular cramps was studied in 15 chronically uremic, nondiabetic patients who experienced a total of 44 cramp episodes. In a double-blind trial either 50 mL (or less) of hypertonic glucose or physiologic (0.9%) saline solution was injected, and the therapeutic response was evaluated. Of a total of 44 episodes of cramps, 26 were treated with hypertonic glucose and 18 with normal saline. Treatment with hypertonic glucose relieved 17 of 26 episodes, in contrast to only five of 18 episodes relieved with 50 mL of normal saline (P < 0.016). No complications related to hypertonic glucose administration were observed. Hypertonic glucose seems to be safe and effective for the relief of dialysis-induced cramps. It also avoids undesirable loading with sodium and mannitol, which have been suggested for treatment of dialysis-induced cramps.

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