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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger HendersonReviewed on 12.09.2023 | 3 minutes read

Dioralyte is known as an oral rehydration therapy and contains a mix of electrolytes and minerals necessary to avoid dehydration. Often patients will take Dioralyte following bouts of exercise, diarrhoea or vomiting. The formulation contains different essential salts such as sodium chloride, potassium chloride, disodium hydrogen citrate and a small amount of sugar in the form of glucose. The product can be added to water to make a solution that’s readily absorbed by the body.

Who is it for?

Dioralyte can be used for oral correction of fluid and electrolyte losses in anyone over the age of 1 month. It is important to consider Dioralyte or other oral rehydration solutions in age groups that are at higher risk of dehydration such as the young and the elderly.

Dioralyte can be used for dehydration or rehydration that may be caused by illness or exercise. Dioralyte can be made up immediately before use by pouring the contents of one sachet into a large glass of drinking water (200ml). Mix the liquid well and drink the whole glass over a period of time. For situations where drinking water is not available, water can be freshly boiled and cooled to ensure it is safe and sterile.

If you have diarrhoea, one sachet can be taken after each loose bowel motion. Reconstituted dioralyte may be stored for up to 24 hours in the fridge, or if at room temperature it must be consumed within 1 hour.

How does it work?

Dioralyte contains a balanced mix of electrolytes that are absorbed through the small intestine by a process of fluid transfer called osmosis. The fluid is transported back into the bloodstream up to 3 times faster than drinking water alone. This fast-tracks fluids to the tissues that need it, allowing you to recover water and salt loss from diarrhoea, vomiting or exercise quicker than by drinking water alone.

Should anyone avoid taking it?

You should not take Dioralyte if you have a known allergy to any of its constituents. There are some instances where it is best to speak to your doctor rather than self-treating at home. If you are very young, or very old and are treating suspected dehydration – it may be best to speak to your doctor to see whether anything else is required alongside some oral rehydration therapy.

If you have the medical condition phenylketonuria, you should speak to your doctor before taking Dioralyte. For people with medical conditions relating to their kidneys or heart, and are treating suspected dehydration then it may be best to speak with your doctor to ensure appropriate fluid intake and safe levels of essential salts in the body are maintained. People taking water tablets (diuretics such as furosemide, spironolactone or indapamide) are also best to speak with their doctor if they are dehydrated to get advice on how to manage medication during the period.

Are there any side-effects?

As with any medications, some people are bound to get some unwanted side effects. There are no known adverse side effects with Dioralyte, although if you experience any unwanted symptoms you should stop using it and speak with your pharmacist or doctor.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 12.09.2023
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