Glucagon Emergency Kit

What is Glucagon?


Glucagon is a hormone that raises the level of glucose in the blood. The alpha cells of the pancreas, in areas called the islets of Langerhans, make glucagon when the body needs to put more sugar into the blood.

Glucagon kits, which are available by prescription, are used to counter severly low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) which result in a loss of consciousness, or when sugar cannot be given. Everyone who uses insulin should have a glucagon emergency kit on hand at all times. The glucagon kit should be stored where all the family members know where to find it. Storage temperatures should be under 90 degrees F (28 degrees C).

Make sure relatives and close friends know that if you become unconscious, medical assistance must always be sought. Inform them that if you are unconscious, Glucagon can be given to you while awaiting medical assistance.

Treat Low Blood Sugars Early

Never Give Food to a Person with Diabetes
Who Is Unconscious From Hypoglycemia

If not treated, symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, sweating, or slurred speech (see full list on page 11) may progress and become severe. Severe low blood sugar is very serious. If it happens, loss of consciousness may occur and you may be physically unable to eat or drink a rapid-acting source of sugar (glucose). You may need a Glucagon shot and a family member, friend, or another adult will need to be ready to give it to you.

Learn How to Use Glucagon Before
An Emergency Arises

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.Being prepared is key to managing an episode of severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Read the Information for the User provided in your Glucagon kit.

Download a FREE Glucagon app at and ask others to download it, too.

Understand the step-by-step instructions which are included in your Glucagon kit, available on the Glucagon website, and
in the Glucagon brochure.


Be sure to designate several people who can help in case of an emergency.
In the event of severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia),
you will not be able to inject yourself with Glucagon.


How to Use Glucagon: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1:

Flip off the seal from the vial of Glucagon powder.


Step 2:

Remove the needle cover from the syringe.
as this may allow the push rod to come out of the syringe.


Step 3:

Insert the needle into the rubber stopper on the vial, then inject the entire contents of the syringe into the vial of Glucagon powder.


Step 4:

Remove the syringe from the vial, then gently swirl the vial until the liquid becomes clear. Glucagon should not be used unless the solution is clear and of a water-like consistency.



More About Glucagon

Dosage for Children
In general, small children (under 20 kg, or 44 pounds) are given 1/2 cc (half the syringe), while older children and adults are given 1cc (the entire syringe). In kids, some authorities advise using 1/2 cc to start with, then giving the other 1/2 about 20 minutes later if needed. This method can lessen the rebound hyperglycemia that usually ensues after use of glucagon. There is no danger of overdose, however. Injection is given in a large muscle, such as the buttocks, thigh or arm. (The needle on the syringe is usually larger than those on insulin syringes.)

A report from a group investigating a closed loop insulin delivery system indicates that glucagon is sufficiently stable for one week after mixing to still be effective (see Report from Diabetes Technology Meeting 2006). For parents, this means that you could mix up glucagon prior to going away on vacation, for example, and have it ready to use. Note that this use is off label and not recommended by the makers of the product.

Glucagon Can Cause Vomiting
Be sure to place the person on his or her side prior to injecting so they do not choke. After injecting glucagon, follow with food once the person regains consciousness and is able to swallow.