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Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels. It is made by the pancreas. It can also be given as a shot or as a powder that's sprayed into the nose.
People with diabetes sometimes get very low blood sugar. If they are unconscious, they need sugar right away. Glucagon raises the blood sugar quickly. A person also needs glucagon if they can't (or won't) safely drink or eat something that contains sugar.
If someone close to you has diabetes, you may need to give them the shot or spray during a low blood sugar emergency.
Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, a headache, and a runny nose.
Replace glucagon shots and nasal spray before they expire. And follow the directions for storage.
Glucagon nasal spray is absorbed through the membranes in the nose. It doesn't have to be inhaled. It will work even if the person getting the medicine has a cold. Follow the directions with the device.
When the person is alert and able to swallow, give a quick-sugar food like glucose tablets. Juice or regular (not diet) soda pop will also work.
If the person isn't alert in 15 minutes and you have another spray device, you can give a second dose. (Each device contains one dose.) Their blood sugar should be checked for several hours after glucagon is given.
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Current as of: April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine
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