Treating Severe Low Blood Sugar
A key to managing an episode of severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is to be prepared. You'll want to be ready in case you or someone close to you ever experiences severe low blood sugar. If not treated quickly, mild or moderate low blood sugar can become severe.
Severe low blood sugar is very serious. If it happens, loss of consciousness may occur. When a person’s blood sugar falls this low, they may be physically unable to eat or drink a rapid-acting source of sugar (glucose). They may need a Glucagon shot—and you, a family member, or another adult will need to be ready to give it to them.
Make sure that your relatives or close friends know that if you become unconscious, medical assistance must always be sought. If you are unconscious, Glucagon can be given to you while awaiting medical assistance.
What Is Glucagon?
Glucagon is a medicine that’s different from insulin. It works by telling the body to release sugar into the blood stream to bring the blood sugar level back up.
The possibilities of severe low blood sugar and giving a Glucagon injection might scare you. But it's very important that you understand how to recognize symptoms of severe low blood sugar, and that you or the ones close to you are ready to give a Glucagon injection, if necessary.
You and anyone who may need to help you during an emergency should become familiar with how to use Glucagon before an emergency arises. Read the Information for the User provided in the kit.
Tips to Be Better Prepared
Places You Go,
People Who Can Help
It’s a good idea to pack a Glucagon kit with other diabetes supplies when away from home. To help you be better prepared, consider having more than one kit and keeping them in places outside your home where a Glucagon kit might come in handy. Consider keeping one at school, with close relatives, and wherever you spend time.
Warning: You may be in a coma from severe hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) rather than hypoglycemia. In such a case, you will not respond to Glucagon and require immediate medical attention.
You’ll also want to note who else in your circle needs to be prepared in case of an emergency. Is it another family member, close friend, the school nurse, a coach, a babysitter, or a co-worker? Help them be ready by making sure they know how to properly give a Glucagon injection, just in case.
You may never have to use Glucagon, but if you ever do, one way to remember how to do it is to practice. With the Glucagon app, you can virtually practice and get more comfortable with the injection steps. You can also get suggestions from your healthcare provider about other helpful ways to practice.
Multiple Kits, One Co-Pay
Ask your healthcare provider about prescribing more than one Lilly Glucagon Emergency Kit for severe low blood sugar. That way, you can have one at home, at school, and wherever else you may need one. Many insurance plans allow you to receive more than one kit with only one co-pay. Check with your insurance provider or your pharmacist to find out how many kits you can get for a single co-pay.
Download the Glucagon Brochure
Print out the Glucagon Brochure so you can keep all the important information handy.
How to Use Glucagon: 8 Steps
Turn the person on his/her side. When an unconscious person awakens, he/she may vomit.
Call 911 immediately after administering Glucagon. If the person does not awaken within 15 minutes, you may administer a second dose of Glucagon, if previously instructed by your healthcare provider to do so.
As soon as the person is awake and able to swallow, give him/her a fast-acting source of sugar (such as fruit juice) followed by a snack or meal containing both protein and carbohydrates (such as cheese and crackers, or a peanut butter sandwich).
Remember to notify your healthcare provider that an episode of severe hypoglycemia has occurred.
These are not the complete instructions. For complete instructions on how to administer Glucagon, please click to access full Information for the User ▸
Indication and Important Safety Information for Glucagon
Glucagon is a treatment for insulin coma or insulin reaction resulting from severe low blood sugar.
What is the most important information I should know about Glucagon?
- Glucagon should not be used if you have pheochromocytoma or if you are allergic to Glucagon.
- Make sure you tell your healthcare provider if you have been diagnosed with or have been suspected of having an insulinoma as Glucagon should be used cautiously in this situation.
- You and anyone who may need to help you during an emergency should become familiar with how to use Glucagon before an emergency arises. Read the Information for the User provided in the kit.
- Make sure that your relatives or close friends know that if you become unconscious, medical assistance must always be sought. If you are unconscious, Glucagon can be given while awaiting medical assistance.
- Do not use the kit after the date stamped on the bottle label.
- If you have questions concerning the use of this product, consult a doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
WARNING: YOU MAY BE IN A COMA FROM SEVERE HYPERGLYCEMIA (HIGH BLOOD GLUCOSE) RATHER THAN HYPOGLYCEMIA. IN SUCH A CASE, YOU WILL NOT RESPOND TO GLUCAGON AND REQUIRE IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Who should not use Glucagon?
Glucagon should not be used if you have pheochromocytoma or if you are allergic to Glucagon.
What should I tell my doctor before taking Glucagon?
Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions and prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Tell your doctor if you have been diagnosed with or have been suspected of having pheochromocytoma or an insulinoma.
How should I use Glucagon?
- Act quickly. Prolonged unconsciousness may be harmful.
- Make sure your family and friends know to turn you on your side to prevent choking if you are unconscious.
- The contents of the syringe are inactive and must be mixed with the Glucagon in the accompanying bottle immediately before giving injection. Do not prepare Glucagon for Injection until you are ready to use it.
- Glucagon should not be used unless the solution is clear and of a water-like consistency.
- The usual adult dose is 1 mg (1 unit). For children weighing less than 44 lbs (20 kg), give 1/2 adult dose (0.5 mg). For children, withdraw 1/2 of the solution from the bottle (0.5 mg mark on syringe). Discard unused portion.
- You should eat as soon as you awaken and are able to swallow. Inform a doctor or emergency services immediately.
What is some important Information I should know about Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)?
- Early symptoms of low blood sugar include: sweating, drowsiness, dizziness, sleep disturbances, palpitation, anxiety, tremor, blurred vision, hunger, slurred speech, restlessness, depressed mood, tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or tongue, irritability, lightheadedness, abnormal behavior, inability to concentrate, unsteady movement, headache, and personality changes. These symptoms may be different for each person and can happen suddenly.
- If your low blood sugar is not treated, you may progress to severe low blood sugar that can include: disorientation, seizures, unconsciousness, and death.
- Low blood sugar symptoms should be treated with a quick source of sugar which should always be carried with you. If you do not improve or you are unable to take a quick source of sugar, you should be treated with Glucagon or with intravenous glucose at a medical facility.
What are the possible side effects of Glucagon?
- Severe side effects are very rare, although nausea and vomiting may occur occasionally.
- A few people may be allergic to Glucagon or to one of the inactive ingredients in Glucagon, or may experience rapid heart beat for a short while.
- If you experience any other reactions which are likely to have been caused by Glucagon, please contact your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store Glucagon?
- Before dissolving Glucagon with diluting solution, store the kit at controlled room temperature between 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).
- After dissolving Glucagon with diluting solution, use immediately. Discard any unused portion. Glucagon should be clear and of a water-like consistency at time of use.
Glucagon is available by prescription only.
HI GLUC CON ISI 09OCT2014
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