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Generic Name

  • Glucagon.

Brand Names

  • Glucagen.

General Information

Glucagon is a hormone produced by the pancreas that, along with insulin, controls the level of glucose in the blood. Glucagon is used to raise very low blood sugar. Glucagon is a glucose-elevating drug. Other glucose-elevating drugs are glucose itself and diazoxide (Proglycem). In diabetic patients, low blood glucose may occur from an unintended excess of injected insulin or oral glucose-lowering medication, such as a sulfonylurea like glipizide, that are being used to treat the diabetes. Glucagon is also used in diagnostic testing of the stomach and other digestive organs. It comes as a powder and liquid that will need to be mixed just before administering the dose. Instructions for mixing and giving the injection are in the package. Glucagon should be administered as soon as possible after discovering that the patient is unconscious from low blood sugar. After the injection, the patient should be turned onto the side to prevent choking if they vomit.

Glucagon Dosage

  • The dose of glucagon will be different for different patients.
  • Adults and children weighing 44 pounds or more should receive 1mg of glucagon either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.
  • Children weighing less than 44 pounds should receive 0.5mg of glucagon or an amount equal to 20-30 micrograms per kilogram or 0.009-0.014 milligrams per pound.

Side Effects of Glucagon

Some common side effects reported with this medicine include:

  • Upset stomach.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Itching.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Trouble in breathing.

Warnings and precautions before taking Glucagon

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to glucagon, any other drugs, or beef or pork products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had adrenal gland problems, blood vessel disease, malnutrition, pancreatic tumors, insulinoma, or pheochromocytoma.


  • If overdosage occurs, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea would be expected without causing consequential toxicity. Intravenous administration of glucagon has been shown to have positive inotropic and chronotropic effects.
  • In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.



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