Ringer’s Lactate Solution (RLS) is a solution used to treat or prevent hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes. It consists of 0.9% sodium chloride, which contains glucose as its major component. Sodium chloride is commonly known as table salt. The term “lactate” refers to the chemical compound formed when glucose combines with water. Glucose is a sugar found naturally in all living organisms, including humans. When ingested, it causes blood vessels to dilate and increases heart rate and blood pressure. However, if too much glucose enters the bloodstream, it can cause symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and shakiness.
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall below a certain level. Hypoglycemia can occur at any time during the day or night, but is most common between meals. Symptoms include feeling tired, irritability, lack of concentration and poor judgment. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can lead to coma and death. Hypoglycemic episodes are often triggered by stress or other factors that may not always be obvious to the patient such as medications or medical procedures.
RLS is a sterile solution that contains a mixture of water, sodium and chloride. It does not contain any glucose. To avoid confusion, RLS should not be confused with “RL”, which is short for “recombinant DNA.” Ringer’s lactate solution has no relation to rHuPH20, which is a genetically engineered version of the human protein hyaluronan.
To treat or prevent hypoglycemia, health care professionals may draw up a certain amount of RLS in a syringe and inject it into the patient’s muscles or under the skin. Injecting the medication into the muscle is faster than injecting it under the skin. RLS is absorbed into the patient’s blood and prevents or corrects hypoglycemia. The medication is used to prevent harmful changes in the brain, such as difficulty speaking, numbness and headache. It can also be used to correct low blood sugar levels that have already occurred.
The amount of RLS needed to treat low blood sugar events depends on several factors, including how severe the hypoglycemic event is and how quickly the RLS is injected. RLS is most effective when injected into the muscle, as it is faster than injecting it under the skin.
When using RLS to treat a severe hypoglycemic episode, health care professionals typically inject the medication into the muscle or vein. When treating less severe episodes, health care professionals most often inject RLS under the skin.
Ringer’s Lactate Solution can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. If these occur, patients may take steps such as lying down and taking deep breaths until they subside.
Patients should not use RLS if they have certain medical conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, have problems with blood clotting or allergies to any ingredients in the medication. If patients are unsure, they should ask a health care professional before using the medication.
Ringer’s Lactate Solution can be used with other medications that treat hypoglycemia. It may be used with other medications, such as dextrose (a simple sugar), under the direction of a health care professional.
RLS comes in multiple-use containers and single-use ampoules or syringes. The medication typically costs between $10 to $50 for a package of six to twelve, or between $20 to $40 for a single injection. Costs may vary by pharmacy.
Clonidine is used to treat high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used to prevent migraine headaches and treat abuse of certain addictive drugs, especially narcotics.
Glyburide is used along with a proper diet and exercise program to help control high blood sugar. It is also used along with insulin or other medicines to treat diabetes mellitus.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to lower high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. People with diabetes do not produce insulin, or the body does not produce it in sufficient quantities.
There are several types of Insulin available, including fast-acting and long-acting ones. Some people with diabetes may use more than one type of insulin.
Insulin is used to treat diabetes mellitus and along with a proper diet and exercise program, it helps control blood sugar. It is also used to treat conditions where the body is not using insulin effectively.
Insulin is also available in an inhaled form (Exubera). This medication works like other forms of insulin, however it is inhaled instead of injected. It is no less effective than injected forms of insulin.
Insulin can cause allergic reactions, which may be serious and may include shock, seizure or death. Serious side effects caused by too low blood sugar may occur if you do not consume enough calories or carbohydrates. These can include seizures or a coma. Report any health problems that occur within a few days after starting this medication to your physician immediately.
You should check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your physician. It is important to keep track of how much insulin you are using, especially if you are taking long-acting insulin.
Insulin can also cause weight gain, which may lead to a number of other health problems. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly while taking this medication.
Sources & references used in this article:
The infusion of Ringer’s lactate solution during shock: changes in lactate, excess lactate, and pH by PC Canizaro, MD Prager… – … Journal of Surgery, 1971 – americanjournalofsurgery.com
Extracellular fluid deficit following operation and its correction with Ringer’s lactate. A reassessment. by JP Roberts, JD Roberts, C Skinner… – Annals of …, 1985 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
A single intraperitoneal dose of carbon monoxide-saturated ringer’s lactate solution ameliorates postoperative ileus in mice by A Nakao, J Schmidt, T Harada, A Tsung… – … of Pharmacology and …, 2006 – ASPET