Glucagon vs OJ

Hello. The other day I had a reaction in the afternoon that took me a long time to recover from I am guessing over an hour til I knew where I was etc. My husband gave me a glass of OJ but much later he asked if he should have used my glucagon kit. Any advice is really appreciated. He has only used the kit when I am unconscious. Thank you.

If it were me, I would prefer the OJ if I was conscious and relatively cooperative. An hour, however, to regain a sense of time an place, is a long time. Did he follow up with more OJ as time went by and you didn’t seem to be snapping out of it?

Are you and your husband aware of the high incidence of nausea with a full dose of glucagon? I think the protocol recommends placing the person laying down on their side so as not to block breathing if vomiting.


Save the glucagon for a real emergency like if you are out cold

1 Like

Thank you Terry.

Yes I was offered more OJ and yes my husband knows what to do re positioning.

I really appreciate your quick response. Not that I want this to happen again.

It still took a long time for the rebound effects to wear off even with just the juice.


Like a lot of people here, OJ is my go-to bump for bg, but if you’re starting really low, dextrose should work even faster (I have gel packs stashed everywhere but thankfully don’t use them much, they taste awful to me). Agree with @Dave44 that I’d reserve glucagon for more severe situation. It always takes time to regain a feeling of normal after rebounding from a low, long after bg’s have recovered.

Personally, so long as you’re able to eat/drink, I would avoid the glucagon. It’s always there as backup should you progress worse.

For the really bad hypos, you may need to experiment with more complex carb/protein mixes. Bodies are complicated, convoluted things, and it’s not always as simple as fast absorbing sugar. You may need some slower absorbing carb/protein to KEEP your sugar up.

I learned that lesson the hard way some 20 years ago at Cedar Point. In my excitement, I had accidentally taken two shots of R/NPH. When the hypo hit, we wound up going to their emergency services and absolutely nothing would get my sugar up and stable. They were about to take me to the hospital, when someone brought me French fries as a last ditch effort. That kept my butt out of the hospital and I got to keep enjoying the park

Everr since then, French fries (or more often potato chips) have been my magic cure when I just can’t get my hypo-twisted head back on straight. There’s just something about the mix of carbs, protein, and fat that help me stabilize. Sometimes sugar/dextrose alone just doesn’t seem to do it, and I’ll keep crashing.

1 Like

A smaller dose of glucagon can be very fast without spiking you as much. Maybe 1/4 of the normal dose. And if you haven’t come back up in 20 minutes, do a little more.

I have done mini-doses before, they work well. My wife knows to not give me the entire vial.


why suggest glucagon to someone who can eat or drink??

Mini-doses of glucagon are very effective. They should be considered in a variety of circumstances short of a full-blown diabetes emergency.

Plus it will give our loved ones some much-needed glucagon experience. I wonder how many people, in the midst of the emotion of an emergency, simply inject the mixing liquid without first mixing with the powder. Mini-glucs serve as a good drill.


I don’t know about what you guys pay for Glucagon, but for me its is frickin’ expensive even with secondary insurance. I’d never use it except for an emergency. I don’t see the point of sticking a needle in , using an expensive drug, when a whole host of foods will do the trick

I know it’s expensive but it often goes out of date without being used at all. I suspect it’s effective after the expiration and certainly grist for experimenting.

I can’t wait for the shelf stable version to come out and we can use it on a regular basis,

1 Like

I’ve no interest in using it on a “regular basis”. I’ve used it 3x in emergencies, decades ago. Enuff of that. :slight_smile:

I’ve never taken a full dose and imagine it’s a rough experience. I enjoyed being able to take 10-15 units from an insulin syringe and quickly turning around an impending low.

I like the control system logic of adding hormonal “brakes” to a system that has only had a “gas pedal” in place before. It’s what a healthy glucose metabolism does for non-D’s.


My take on small glucagon doses is that while it’s super fast, usage as discussed is sorta off-label* and for experienced users only. That said, you can see why a stable version would be great either for autopilot methods or for MDI equivalent.
*I’d add that hardly anyone in the medical profession would be alarmed at off label uses that raise bg.

As many people as I see don’t know how to take insulin, I foresee a whole new set of issues for those who don’t know how to handle their meds. I read so many ignorant comments from new diabetics because they haven’t been trained properly or don’t pay attention. You’d perhaps be shocked at the totally clueless questions people ask about Dexcom CGMS that they just received because they won’t read the manual or watch the how-to-videos. They post the most inane questions on social media. And now we want to add common usage of Glucagon to the insulin/diet/exercise equation? My my. It’s gonna be a mess. Many people don’t read directions. I’m on sites every day where a percentage of the posters are totally clueless about the most basic information about their disease, their meds, and their equipment.


I am alarmed by members encouraging others to experiment with glucagon as opposed to grabbing food or drink to correct. I don’t believe any Dr., nurse, diabetes educator, dietician would approve the use of glucagon when food or drink would suffice.

1 Like

There are times when food and/or drink does not work.

If somebody has never experienced this - that is great. However as with many things, it is generally not valid to make the erroneous assumption that one person’s experience translates to everybody else.

For anybody who might be interested in learning more about a mini-dose glucagon, feel free to refer to this PDF from the BC Children’s Hospital:


Good point Tim! If someone is sick and vomiting and has low BG - perhaps because they are unable to keep food down - glucagon is a great thing to use for treatment.

I don’t know why people think the disease is so hard to figure out. When I was very young, my parents observed that full doses of glucagon sent my BG skyrocketing. They figured out that smaller doses worked just as fast, and didn’t cause the problems with high BG later. It isn’t hard to connect the dots on that.

They figured it out before internet access and diabetes forums. Now it is even easier to learn stuff like this.

The reason my control is so good is because I don’t rely on the approval of doctors, nurses, diabetes educators, or dieticians to do the things I do.

Of course, we’re talking about those times when one is able to take food or drink.

There are things I’ve learned living with diabetes for 34 years that none of the medical professionals know. That knowledge has improved my quality of life immeasurably. What we know living with diabetes 24/7/365, most medical professionals will never learn. I respect what they know but I also respect my personal hard-won knowledge.