Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health




School of Medical and Health Sciences




Barber, R. L., Ekin, A. E., Sivakumar, P., Howard, K., & O’Sullivan, T. A. (2018). Glucose Gel as a Potential Alternative Treatment to Infant Formula for Neonatal Hypoglycaemia in Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(5). Available here


Infant formula is often used as a treatment for neonatal hypoglycaemia in Australia; however, there are concerns that this may jeopardise mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding. Successful use of glucose gel as an alternative treatment for hypoglycaemia has been reported. We wanted to investigate in a pilot study whether the use of glucose gel has the potential to quickly and safely restore normoglycaemia in the infants of diabetic mothers in an Australian setting. Infants with asymptomatic hypoglycaemia were treated with glucose gel (n = 36) and compared to a historical group of infants which had been treated with infant formula (n = 24). Within 15 min of the first treatment, the gel group had a mean blood glucose level (BGL) of 2.6 mmol/L, and 2.7 mmol/L 30 min after the second treatment. This was lower than the BGL after the first treatment for the formula group, which rose to a mean of 2.8 then to 3.2 mmol/L after the second treatment (p = 0.003). In successfully treated infants, administration of the gel resulted in normoglycaemia within 30 min. The likelihood of special care nursery admission was not significantly different between the groups, although we had a small sample size, and our findings should be interpreted with caution. These pilot results provide support for further investigations into the use of glucose gel as an alternative treatment to infant formula.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.