2DG Safety and Side Effects

2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) can be a safe and effective alternative cancer treatment when used according to recommendations. Many patients have used 2DG for years without experiencing significant side effects.

2DG has a long history of use, beginning over 60 years ago, and has been involved in numerous clinical trials. It is an approved medication in India for treating moderate to severe COVID-19, thousands of patients have used it to improve their condition. The standard dosage of 2DG is 30 mg/kg of body weight, though doses up to 63 mg/kg/day have been shown to be safe in patients with advanced solid tumors.

However, if you’re aiming for long-term use (months to years), doses should not exceed 30 mg/kg/day to ensure a pleasant experience.

2DG is generally well-tolerated by everyone, even with long-term use. In the rare instances when side effects occur, they are usually mild and transient, such as fatigue, sweating, and light-headedness — similar to symptoms of low blood sugar.

These side effects typically last only 60 minutes after administration and can be completely avoided by closely following the dosage guide.

List of Possible 2DG Side Effects:

  • Mildly elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) (less than 10% of patients).
  • Fatigue, sweating, light-headedness (less than 2% of patients).
  • Nausea (less than 1% of patients).
  • Reversible QTc prolongation, mainly with very high doses over 200 mg/kg (less than 0.05% of patients).
  • Stomach pain or aggravation of pre-existing problems in those with unhealed gastrointestinal ulcers or erosions.

Precautions Before Starting 2DG Treatment:

  • Avoid 2DG if you have active untreated esophageal, gastric, or duodenal ulcers, as it can increase gastric acid production.
  • If you are on QTc interval-extending medications, have a history of arrhythmias or have uncontrolled high potassium levels in your blood work, use 2DG only under physician supervision.
  • Patients with severe chronic kidney disease (stage 3 or higher) should take 2DG with caution due to its renal excretion route. Avoid taking 2DG or reduce the overall dose by 50% if you have CKD stage 3 or higher (serum creatinine 1.4 to 2.0 mg/dL (124 µmol/l to 177 µmol/l or higher) in women and 1.5 to 2.5 mg/dL (177 µmol/l to 221 µmol/l or higher) in men or glomerular filtration rate (GFR) > 59 mL/min/1.73 m²).
  • If you frequently experience dizziness or fainting, take lower doses of 2DG and monitor your condition.
  • Those with moderate anemia (Hb <10.0 g/dl), neutropenia, or moderate thrombocytopenia should delay 2DG treatment until these conditions are resolved.
  • Diabetic patients should ensure their blood sugar is well-controlled to maximize the efficacy of 2DG. Optimal glucose levels for 2DG use are 70-100 mg/dL (4-6 mmol/L). Type II diabetics may benefit from combining 2DG with metformin, as they complement each other’s mechanisms of action.

The feedback we receive aligns with our expectations, indicating that many patients experience significant improvements while using 2DG. It\’s crucial to highlight that the most effective results are often achieved when 2DG is combined with other treatments, tailored to individual needs.

Noticeable improvements, such as reduced tumor markers, tumor shrinkage in imaging studies, and overall health enhancements, typically become evident after 3-6 months of consistent use.

Adhering to these guidelines will enable you to integrate 2DG into your cancer treatment plan both safely and effectively.


Raez, L. E., et al. (2013). A phase I dose-escalation trial of 2-deoxy-D-glucose alone or combined with docetaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, 71(2), 523-530. Available at: PubMed

Dwarakanath, B. S., et al. (2021). 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG): From cancer to COVID-19 therapy. Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, 17(3), 2-10. Available at: PubMed

Stein, M., et al. (2010). Targeting tumor metabolism with 2-deoxyglucose in patients with advanced cancer. Cancer Biology & Therapy, 9(11), 903-910. Available at: PubMed

Zhang, D., et al. (2014). 2-Deoxy-D-glucose targeting of glucose metabolism in cancer cells as a potential therapy. Cancer Letters, 355(2), 176-183. Available at: PubMed

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