NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Area Drug and Therapeutics Committee
Greater Glasgow and Clyde Medicines
Medicines Update

Hypoglycaemia treatment with sugary drinks

In response to the forthcoming “Sugar Tax” levy on the production of sugary drinks, many manufacturers are significantly reducing the amount of sugar in their products. This has implications for diabetics who may use drinks, most commonly Lucozade, to manage hypoglycaemia. Lucozade began rollout of new formulations across their product range from April 2017.




  • The new recipe of Lucozade Original has 8.9g carbohydrate per 100ml, reduced from 17g
  • Patients will have to drink approximately 120mls of the new formula Lucozade Original to ingest 10g of carbohydrate.
  • For patients unable to tolerate the higher volume of fluids, combining with carbohydrate supplement such as MaxiJul will achieve the required amount of carbohydrate, e.g. 60ml Lucozade Original + one 5g scoop of MaxiJul = 10g of carbohydrate.
  • The carbohydrate content of glucose gels e.g. Glucogel and Rapilose and glucose tablets, eg Dextro Energy and Lucozade tablets will remain the same.
  • Ensure any patient in your ward/department managing hypoglycaemia with sugary drinks is aware of the changes.
  • If you are involved in the preparation of a drink, always check the nutritional information
  • Seek advice from your local Diabetic Service if you require additional advice or support for a patient.
  • Information for Healthcare Professionals provided by Lucozade can be found here
  • The NHSGGC Algorithm for treatment of Hypoglycaemia in Adults with Diabetes in Hospital has been updated to show that 170ml of Lucozade is required.
  • The NHSGGC Clinical Guideline on Diagnosis of Diabetes includes information on performing a glucose tolerance test. Rapilose can be ordered on a GP10A if required for Glucose Tolerance Tests by GP practices.  



There will be a mix of old and new formula products on the shelves for some time to come. All drinks across the Lucozade range are changing and other soft drink manufacturers are changing many of their products. Lucozade are also adding aspartame artificial sweetener to their products, this is a source of phenylalanine. Other manufactures may do the same.



Published 4th May 2017

Updated 22nd May 2017 with new amount quoted in the algorithm for treatment of hypoglycaemia in adults with diabetes in hospital.

Updated 23rd June 2017 with information on clinical guideline on diagnosis of diabetes and ordering of Rapilose