Diabetes and Lipid Clinic of Alaska



About Glucagon

This medicine is a hormone used to treat severe low blood sugar in patients with diabetes who are unable to take sugar by mouth. It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Glucagon is a potentially lifesaving treatment for episodes of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) which could otherwise result in insulin coma or insulin reaction. If you or your child takes insulin, many doctors recommend keeping at least one source of glucagon on hand. Glucagon is given by injection and usually stops the symptoms of severe low blood sugar quickly by releasing a burst of glucose into the blood. The Glucagon Emergency Kit is small and portable, keeps all the items needed to administer glucagon, and comes in a bright red case which is easy to recognize.

The Glucagon Kit is easy for family, friends, other parents, school nurses, and child care providers to use in case of an emergency. You should talk to the people who need to be prepared in case you or your child has a severe hypoglycemic event.

How to use this medication:

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. This medicine comes with a patient information leaflet. Read it carefully. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist any questions that you may have about this medicine. Be sure that you and your family know how to use this medicine before you need it in an emergency. Store this medicine as directed on the prescription label.

The patient should regain consciousness in less than 15 minutes. If not, a second dose may be given. A sugar source should be given when the patient regains consciousness.

Glucagon is only effective for 90 minutes and is to be used only until the patient is able to swallow. The blood sugar level should be kept up by eating snacks consisting of crackers, cheese, half a sandwich or a glass of milk. The blood sugar should be checked hourly for 3 to 4 hours after regaining consciousness


Do not use this medicine after mixing unless the solution is clear and of water-like consistency. Check the expiration date on the medication. If it expires before you mix it, replace it. Generally, it is a good idea to replace your prescription once per year. Jan 1st or birthday/anniversary might help you remember. Symptoms of severe low blood sugar are disorientation, unconsciousness, or seizures.

Additional Important Safety Information for Glucagon

  • You should not use glucagon if you have pheochromocytoma.
  • Severe side effects are very rare, although nausea and vomiting may occur occasionally.
  • A few people may be allergic to glucagon or one of the inactive ingredients in glucagon.
  • Do not use glucagon after the date stamped on the bottle label and do not prepare glucagon until you are ready to use it.
  • If you have questions concerning the use of glucagon, consult a healthcare provider, nurse, or pharmacist

Call 911 as soon as possible if you experience hives, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact the medical professionals at Diabetes and Lipid Clinic of Alaska.

The information on this Web page is provided for educational purposes. You understand and agree that this information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. You agree that Diabetes and Lipid Clinic of Alaska is not making a diagnosis of your condition or a recommendation about the course of treatment for your particular circumstances through the use of this Web page. You agree to be solely responsible for your use of information contained on this Web page

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