Learning About How to Give Glucagon Nasal Spray
What is glucagon?
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.
How to give glucagon nasal spray
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.
- Pull on the red tab, and remove the shrink wrap from the bottle.
- Remove the nasal spray device from the bottle. Don't push the plunger until you're ready to give the medicine.
- Hold the nasal spray device between your thumb and forefingers.
- Put the tip of the device into one nostril until your fingers touch the nose.
- Push the plunger firmly until it stops. This completes the dose.
- Turn the person on their side in case of vomiting.
- Call 911.
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.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: April 13, 2022