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Glucagon Injection

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Glucagon injection is prescribed for emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in people with diabetes who are unable to eat or drink sugar-containing foods. Glucagon Injection works by increasing blood sugar levels rapidly, helping to raise them to safe levels during a hypoglycemic episode.

How should this medicine be used?

Here’s how Glucagon injection is typically used:

  • Preparation: Ensure that the individual is lying on their back and administer the injection as quickly as possible. If necessary, have someone call for emergency medical assistance.
  • Reconstitution (if applicable): Glucagon is usually supplied in a powder form along with a diluent (liquid). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to reconstitute the powder with the diluent provided.
  • Administration: After reconstitution (if necessary), draw up the solution into a syringe. Choose an appropriate injection site, such as the thigh, buttock, or upper arm. Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab. Pinch a fold of skin and insert the needle into the muscle. Inject the entire contents of the syringe. Remove the needle and apply pressure to the injection site for a few seconds. Discard the syringe safely.
  • Monitoring: Monitor the individual’s blood sugar levels closely after administration. Once consciousness is regained and the individual is able to swallow safely, provide them with a source of carbohydrates to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Follow-up: Seek medical attention after administration, as severe hypoglycemia may require further evaluation and treatment adjustments.

It’s crucial to note that proper training and education on the administration of Glucagon injection should be provided to individuals with diabetes and their caregivers to ensure effective and timely use during emergencies. Additionally, individuals with diabetes should always carry Glucagon with them if they are at risk of severe hypoglycemia.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition to its primary use for treating severe hypoglycemia in people with diabetes, Glucagon injection may also be used in certain medical procedures or diagnostic tests. These uses include:

  • Diagnostic Procedures: Glucagon injection may be used to relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract during certain diagnostic procedures such as endoscopy or radiologic examinations.
  • Treatment of Beta-Blocker Overdose: Glucagon injection may also be used as part of the treatment for overdose of certain medications, such as beta-blockers, that can cause severe cardiovascular effects.
  • Management of Esophageal Food Bolus Obstruction: Glucagon injection can sometimes be used to relax the muscles of the esophagus in cases of food bolus obstruction, facilitating the passage of the obstructing material.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Glucagon injection, here are some important points to consider:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic to glucagon or other components of the injection. It’s important to inform your healthcare provider of any known allergies before using Glucagon.
  • Medical Conditions: Glucagon may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland), insulinoma (a tumor of the pancreas), or adrenal insufficiency. Inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have before using Glucagon.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before using Glucagon if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The potential risks and benefits should be carefully considered.
  • Storage: Glucagon should be stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically at room temperature (between 20°C and 25°C or 68°F and 77°F). Avoid exposing Glucagon to extreme heat or cold, and check the expiration date before use.
  • Training: Individuals with diabetes and their caregivers should receive proper training on how to administer Glucagon in emergency situations. This may involve practicing with a training kit provided by the healthcare provider.
  • Emergency Planning: It’s important to have a plan in place for managing hypoglycemia emergencies, including access to Glucagon and knowing when and how to use it. This plan should be discussed with your healthcare provider and updated as needed.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and guidelines for using Glucagon injection, and consult them if you have any questions or concerns about its use.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Glucagon Injection is a medication used to treat severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in emergency situations. It does not require specific dietary instructions. However, it is essential to maintain a balanced and appropriate diet for managing diabetes or any underlying condition that may lead to hypoglycemia.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Regarding missed doses of Glucagon Injection, it is crucial to understand that glucagon is typically used in emergency situations when a person with diabetes experiences severe hypoglycemia and cannot consume oral carbohydrates.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Glucagon injection is generally considered safe and effective when used as directed for the treatment of severe hypoglycemia or other medical conditions. However, like any medication, Glucagon injection can cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting: These are among the most common side effects of Glucagon injection. Nausea and vomiting may occur shortly after administration and are usually mild and transient.
  • Increased Heart Rate (Tachycardia): Glucagon can cause temporary increases in heart rate, which may be noticeable as palpitations or a racing heartbeat.
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Glucagon may cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, particularly in individuals with underlying cardiovascular conditions.
  • Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to Glucagon injection. Signs of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue, and difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction.
  • Headache: Some people may experience headaches after receiving Glucagon injection. These headaches are typically mild and resolve on their own.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Glucagon can sometimes cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially if blood sugar levels rise rapidly.
  • Hypokalemia (Low Potassium Levels): Glucagon can cause a decrease in potassium levels in the blood, particularly when administered in high doses or in individuals with certain medical conditions.

It’s important to note that these side effects are usually temporary and resolve on their own without the need for medical intervention. However, if you experience severe or persistent side effects after receiving Glucagon injection, or if you have any concerns about its use, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Additionally, individuals with diabetes and their caregivers should be aware of the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and how to manage it effectively, including the use of Glucagon injection in emergency situations. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and adherence to a diabetes management plan can help minimize the risk of hypoglycemia and its associated complications.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Here’s what you should know about the storage and disposal of Glucagon Injection:


  • Follow the storage instructions provided with the specific brand of Glucagon Injection you have, as different products may have slight variations.
  • In general, Glucagon Injection should be stored at room temperature (between 68°F and 77°F or 20°C and 25°C), away from direct heat and light.
  • Do not refrigerate Glucagon unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider or the product packaging.


  • Unused or expired Glucagon Injection should be disposed of properly to ensure it does not pose a risk to others. Follow local regulations for the disposal
  • of medical waste or consult with your pharmacist or healthcare provider.
  • Do not throw Glucagon Injection in the regular trash or flush it down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you or someone you know is experiencing severe hypoglycemia and is unconscious or unable to swallow, a glucagon injection should be administered immediately.

  • Glucagon injections are typically given by a family member or caregiver, so it’s important to inform those close to you about the procedure and ensure they are trained to administer it.
  • If you are alone and unable to administer the glucagon injection, call emergency services immediately.
  • After administering glucagon, turn the person onto their side to prevent choking in case they vomit.

What other information should I know?

  • Glucagon Injection is usually supplied as a kit that contains a vial of powdered glucagon and a syringe or device filled with sterile water for reconstitution.
  • Before using Glucagon Injection, it’s important to read the instructions provided with the product carefully and familiarize yourself with the proper administration technique.
  • Notify your healthcare provider if you have a history of adrenal insufficiency, pheochromocytoma (a type of tumor), or any known allergies to glucagon or its components.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements, as they may interact with Glucagon Injection.
  • Regularly check the expiration date on the Glucagon Injection kit and replace it before it expires.
  • It’s essential to have a plan in place for managing hypoglycemia, including carrying a Glucagon Injection kit with you at all times if needed.

Please note that the information provided here is for general knowledge and should not replace the specific instructions and advice given by your healthcare provider.

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