Glucose tablets, gels, drinks, and powders are ideal for quickly raising low blood glucose. But there are times when you may not be able to ingest fast-acting glucose. Severe hypoglycemia can make it hard to swallow food or drink, and at times it may lead to unconsciousness. That’s where glucagon comes in.
The rescue medication contains the hormone glucagon, which raises blood glucose levels. It’s often administered by a friend, family member, or caregiver when you’re too affected by hypoglycemia to deliver it yourself.
Traditional glucagon kits include a vial of powdered glucagon and a syringe preloaded with sterile water or another diluting solution. The two are mixed together and then injected under the skin. The multistep process can be confusing for users unfamiliar with the medication, and mixing takes precious moments away from treatment. To combat those drawbacks, two companies released new glucagon formulations last year.
Eli Lilly’s Baqsimi, a glucagon powder that a companion can spray into your nose, is approved for people with diabetes ages 4 and older. And Xeris Pharmaceuticals’ Gvoke, a premixed and prefilled glucagon injection, is approved for those 2 and over.
To be sure you are safe in emergencies, keep glucagon with you and a backup at work or in the car. Set calendar alerts to check the expiration date periodically so you can get new glucagon before yours expires. Also critical: Teach your family, friends, and coworkers how to use your glucagon so they’re prepared in an emergency.
Fast-Acting glucose products