Dehydration can happen easily in the human body as it is made up of 75% water and requires regular replenishing as we go about our daily activities, particularly if we are in a warmer climate or taking part in strenuous physical activity as we sweat and therefore lose even more of our fluids. Dehydration can also be caused by an illness, like vomiting and diarrhoea. In most cases, diarrhoea and vomiting aren’t serious, especially if you manage to stay hydrated, but the very young and old are more susceptible to dehydration and this puts them at higher risk of complications. Bugs spread easily and diarrhoea and vomiting are pretty common. If left unchecked dehydration can cause seizures, kidney problems, heatstroke and low blood volume so it’s worth keeping an eye on. One of the best ways to identify dehydration is the colour of your urine, if it is dark or smelly then you may be dehydrated, it should be a light straw colour as a rule.
What is Dioralyte?
Dioralyte is a fast effective rehydration treatment that replaces lost body fluid and salts, especially when this happens as a result of diarrhoea. Dioralyte comes in a sachet and in a variety of different flavours, Blackcurrant, Citrus and Natural.
Your body needs the correct balance of body salts and fluid to carry out essential functions and maintain your health. Dioralyte helps you to:
- Replace essential body salt;
- Restore and maintain lost fluids;
- Dioralyte will rehydrate you quicker than water alone.
The active ingredients in Dioralyte are glucose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride and disodium hydrogen citrate, it also contains saccharin sodium and silicone dioxide.
Dioralyte comes in a box with individual sachets, you can buy a six-pack or a larger family pack containing 20 sachets, which can be practical as sickness and diarrhoea spread easily to the whole family. The sachets are mixed with water to make a drink.
When is Dioralyte used?
Dioralyte can be used by both adults and children, for children under two you should seek medical advice with regards to doses and how to use Diorlayte. As a general rule, Dioralyte is used:
To rehydrate your body, especially after an episode of diarrhoea.
Dehydration can be caused by:
- illness (bugs caused by viruses and by bacteria)
- sport and exercise
- alcohol consumption
Dioralyte can be used to help with rehydration in all of these circumstances and is particularly good for dehydration caused by diarrhoea, both for sickness bugs and ‘traveller’s tummy’.
How do you use Dioralyte?
With any medication, if you are unsure about how to use it or you are using it for the first time check with your doctor or pharmacist for instructions and always follow their directions.
Dioralyte comes in a sachet, the sachet should be mixed with water before taking it.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do not prepare this medicine in advance, prepare it just before you are going to take it. If you are giving Dioralyte to a baby throughout the course of the day then you can keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours;
- Do not use Dioralyte after the expiry date printed on the sachet;
- Only dissolve the powder from the sachet in water, do not dissolve in any other liquid;
- For adults and children over the age of one, dissolve the powder in fresh drinking water. If this is not available use freshly boiled and cooled water, if there is no other option then you can use bottled water;
- For babies under 1 always use freshly boiled and cooled water.
To prepare the medicine:
- Pour the entire sachet of powder into an empty glass;
- Add 200ml of water (no more and no less as this is the perfect balance to rehydrate you effectively and it will not work as well with other quantities, you may upset the balance of salts in your body);
- Stir until the powder has dissolved;
- The liquid should be clear and colourless;
- Drink immediately.
What dosages are there?
As with all medicines, follow the instructions of your doctor or pharmacist when it comes to taking the right dose at the right time.
Dioralyte comes in a measured sachet, each sachet should be dissolved in 200ml water, when you have diarrhoea, take the following dose:
- For adults, drink one or two sachets (individually dissolved) after bowel movement
- For children, drink one sachet after every bowel movement,
If you are taking for rehydration when you do not have diarrhoea simply take one sachet and leave things for a few hours.
- If you are being sick then sip the Dioralyte drink slowly;
- Don’t eat in the early stages of diarrhoea;
- If your diarrhoea lasts for longer than 24 to 48 hours then contact your doctor. Diarrhoea and dehydration can have serious consequences.
Babies under the age of 2 should only be given Dioralyte if you are advised to do by a doctor:
- If you are bottle-feeding or giving other foods you should stop feeding your baby for the initial period of treatment;
- If you are breastfeeding you don’t need to stop, but your baby might drink less than normal so you may find you need to express the excess milk;
- The correct dose will be worked out by the doctor depending on how much your baby weighs, it normally works out at about one and a half times the amount of fluid your baby would normally consume in 24 hours;
- If your baby is being sick try giving them one to two teaspoons (5-10ml) of Dioralyte every 5 minutes and then increase the dose bit by bit until they are drinking normally again.
- If you take more Dioralyte than you should it will not usually cause serious damage but if you have taken large amounts you should seek immediate medical assistance, This is particularly important if a baby or child takes large amounts or someone who has severe liver or kidney problems.
What are the side effects of Dioralyte?
As with all medication, Dioralyte comes with a warning of some side effects, although not everyone who takes Dioralyte will experience them. If you have any concerns with regards to side effects then contact your doctor.
Dioralyte can cause an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction are:
- Swelling of the face;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Swelling around the lips, nose, throat and tongue;
- Rashes on the skin;
- Finding it hard to swallow.
If you think you are having an allergic reaction seek immediate medical assistance.
When shouldn’t you use Dioralyte?
Do not take Diaoralyte if any of the following apply to you:
- You are allergic to glucose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, disodium hydrogen citrate or any other ingredient listed on the packet;
- Your bowel is either fully or partially blocked (intestinal obstruction).
- You should also take special care when taking Dioralyte if any of the following apply:
- The treatment is for a child under 2 years old;
- You have had diarrhoea for more than 24-48 hours, you may need an additional treatment;
- You have diabetes;
- You are following a low potassium diet;
- You have liver or kidney disease;
- You are following a low sodium diet;
- You are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to get pregnant – you will need further advice before taking Dioralyte;
- You have trouble taking or digesting sugars – Dioralyte contains glucose.
- If you are unsure about any of these, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Does Dioralyte interact with other medications?
Before taking any medication it is always worth checking for interactions with other medicines as some medicines can interfere with others which makes them less effective or they can interact with one another and cause more problems for your health. This includes herbal remedies, vitamins, supplements and any medicines you buy over the counter.
Your pharmacist will be able to advise you of these interactions and warnings so it is worth spending a few moments discussing this when buying over-the-counter medicines.
For prescription medicines, your doctor will check for you so make sure you mention anything you are taking.
Where can you buy Dioralyte?
Dioralyte is available from pharmacies nationwide, you can order it online and have it delivered conveniently to your home (handy if you are the one suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea!) or you can pick it up in your local pharmacy or supermarket pharmacy.
You may want to buy it in advance and have it handy in case you need it, particularly if you are planning to travel abroad and there’s a risk of traveller’s tummy. If you do buy it in advance make sure you check the expiry date and never use a sachet that’s out of date.
Can I get Dioralyte without a prescription?
Yes, you can buy Dioralyte without a prescription, it is classed as an over-the-counter medicine so you won’t need a consultation with a doctor before taking it. If you are unsure about anything you can ask the pharmacist when you buy Dioralyte as they will be able to help. Always read the leaflet enclosed in the packet to make sure you are taking the medicine properly and are aware of any warning signs to look for with regards to side effects.
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