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Understanding Diabetes

Glucagon

What is Glucagon?

Glucagon is a hormone (like insulin) produced by the pancreas which opposes the action of insulin. It is administered as an injection and like soluble insulin can be given beneath the skin, into muscle or into a vein.

When should Glucagon be used?

Glucagon is used in emergency situations for treatment of hypoglycaemia when the patient is unconscious.

What are the side effects?

Side effects of glucagon are not common. Vomiting, itching or rash may occur.

How do I use the Glucagon emergency Kit?

Within the glucagon kit is found a vial of powdered glucagon and a syringe filled with liquid (diluent). The dose is prepared immediately before injection. The best sites for injection intramuscularly are the large muscles over the buttocks, thigh or arm.

As glucagon can make the patient vomit, place the patient on his or her side after injection. Once consciousness is regained give the patient food and drink (see leaflet on hypoglycaemia).

How should the kit be stored?

Glucagon kit

 

Glucagon kit

 

The kit contains a syringe already filled with distilled water and a vial of glucagon

The kit contains a syringe already filled with distilled water and a vial of glucagon

Glucagon 1 mg dried powder

Glucagon 1 mg dried powder

Syringe

 

 

Dr Nishan Wijenaike, Consultant Physician
West Suffolk Hospitals Diabetes Service
August 2002