You may never have to use Glucagon, but if you ever do, one way to remember how to do it is to practice. You can also get suggestions from your healthcare provider about other helpful ways to practice.
Before using glucagon, tell your doctor if you have any tumor of the pancreas, if you have not recently eaten on a regular basis, or if you have chronic low blood sugar.
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially indomethacin (Indocin), insulin, a blood thinner (such as Coumadin), or a beta blocker (such as Betapace, Coreg, Corgard, Dutoprol, Inderal, InnoPran, Lopressor, Normodyne, Tenormin, Tenoretic, Toprol, Trandate, and others).
Glucagon should be used to treat hypoglycemia only if the person is unable to eat, or is unconscious or having a seizure.
Glucagon is injected under the skin, into a muscle, or into a vein. You will be shown how to use emergency glucagon injections for severe hypoglycemia from your healthcare provider. Call your doctor after each time you use a glucagon injection.
This medication comes with instructions for safe and effective use for you or a caregiver. Become familiar with these instructions and follow them carefully whenever you need to use a glucagon injection. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
After the injection, you should eat a source of sugar (fruit juice, glucose gel, raisins, non-diet soda) and then eat a snack or small meal such as cheese and crackers or a meat sandwich.
Be sure you know how to give a glucagon injection before you need to use it. Use half of the adult dose if you are giving an injection to a child younger than 6, or to anyone who weighs less than 55 pounds.
Glucagon is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. Prepare your dose in a syringe only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Mix a new dose, and call your doctor for instructions if the second dose also has particles after mixing.
Store glucagon powder and the diluent at cool room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Throw away any mixed medicine you have not used right away. Do not use this medication after the expiration date on the label has passed.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid pulse, or high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats).
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; fast or slow heartbeat; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Less serious side effects may include nausea or vomiting.
The good news is that at least two pharmaceutical companies are developing a glucagon pen. This will be similar to the EpiPen for allergic reactions, making the glucagon simple to use.
When this happens, more diabetics will carry glucagon rescue kits, and more people will use them to rescue Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics from diabetic shock symptoms.
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