If you take insulin: you need a prescription for emergency glucagon

My husband used it on me once about 45 yrs ago. I wouldn’t be without it since I am about 25 minutes from a hospital. I do need to get a prescription for Baqsimi.

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Hi sophie, do you mean basal testing with a pump? I’m going to ask my cde about that. I dont use a pump at the moment. I just received a dexcom, and am about to start using that. Thanks for your comments, i appreciate them.

I’m a belt AND suspenders kind of guy: I try to always have glucose tablets AND glucagon with me.

About 30 years ago, I did “flop like a fish” once. That was before glucagon was common and long before things like CGM. Curiously, I got up, did a finger stick, got a pretty normal reading of 115 mg/do, or so. A few minutes later, I was in the kitchen about to prepare my breakfast and, whammo: full convulsions. Under some circumstances, things can surprise you …

Also, an event like that is worse for friends, colleagues, or loved ones that happen to be there.

So, I’ve carried the “you mix” kits (almost always expired) for many years. Now with either Gvoke or Bawsimi, someone else has a good chance of using it correctly…

Note: I was able to self-administer the you-mix style once: I was alone and even after eating what normally worked kept watching finger-stick readings fall. When readings fell below 40, I was scared … but mixed and administered the two/part glucagon.

While I hope we all never need it, I ‘m a believer in trying to have glucagon available …

Stay safe!

John

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I have always kept glucagon in my diabetes kit. It’s been used on me countless times as a child/young adult but not since I was 18 when I was able to get better control. I take it with me when traveling overnight and keep it at home in case of being unable to orally treat a super low BG (such as the stomach flu, etc.).

BTW, I’m pretty sure all of my glucagon kits are expired buy IMO they pretty much last forever so I’m not running to get a new one but I do occasionally renew my RX.

Consider to use cgm and you’ll avoid that scenario–seems common wisdom.

Optimally, and there could be rare exceptions, almost nobody experience with insulin really needs to carry a glucagon kit except for emergency medical services.

Probably waste of money for most T1, is my opinion. But for those with a different idea, do as you wish and talk to your doc not necessarily take advise from posts on stories on forums.

I’ve never used Glucagon in 45 years of Type 1. I did carry it when I used to hike in remote areas with no cell service. Any glucagon kits that I ever purchased ended up expired and in the trash. Because insurance fully paid for them, it was no big deal to me.

Now on Medicare I have a drug plan deductible of over $400 for Tier 3 where all glucagon products are tiered. Because I have no other Tier 3 drugs, it means that my Glucagon would cost that full deductible. I can’t bring myself to purchase it for about $400 and then throw it away in a couple of years.

When I was on MDI I used Lantus and frequently had overnight lows. I didn’t receive any instructions on how to adjust my dose and do basal testing. I look back and realize just how scary that first year after diagnosis was!

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I am on the Dexcom CGM and my control is excellent and has been excellent for years. I haven’t had a low that I can’t treat myself on over a decade but there is still the possibility of SHTF moments like having dosed for a meal, eaten it and coming down with food poisoning immediately afterwards (this has happened to me). In this case the CGM would be only good for keeping track of what’s going on with my BG but would be useless for actually correcting a low.

If you have ever had food poisoning then you know how it is nearly impossible to eat even a glucose tab to try and save yourself. That’s where Glucagon will save your life although it’s a one shot solution. If you go low again afterwards it will have used up your glycogen stores so another dose would be ineffective and at that point you would need emergency services for a dextrose IV.

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I check my blood sugar at least 8 times a day, and if it’s low, my mobile app says to take orange juice or glucose tablets (I already knew that, but my mobile app screams to do something).
Also, all my friends know to feed me if it looks like my sugar is low.
So I never passed out and needed glucagon. (I’ve fallen a few times, and more now that I have balance deficit disorder, but even after I fell, I was able to take a few of the glucose tablets I always keep handy.)

I don’t know about you but when my sugar is low the last thing I want is for people to be pushing things at me.
For whatever reasons I become resistant to assistance.
I really prefer no one even know about it.

Lucky for me cgm has eliminated just about every low that is symptomatic.

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After reading some more replies here I have to say that people should not be telling people not to get glucagon/ baqsimi in case of an emergency. That is imo, bad medical advice which should not be given on a diabetes forum.

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This is exactly the situation I was thinking of! I, too, was very ill after having my eyes dialated for an eye exam. I was vomiting for hours on end and could not eat anything. I was worried about lows. I ended up being able to eat some banana but I was glad I had glucagon for worst case scanario.

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A few weeks ago my pump failed an I have switched to Tresiba and Lymjev. Was doing well until just last night when I dropped 120 points between midnight and 4 am. CGM did not wake me and read 40 from 4 am til 7 am when my husband woke and used glucagon on me as I was unresponsive. SO thankful to have it on hand. I had no side effects. Have had two other severe lows in last two years, both requiring EMS and trip to ER. Glucagon worked great and quickly. Almost 50 years T1D and have never experienced lows like this. A bit frightened and frustrated but will continue adjusting and incorporating new safety measures til I get it right. But for today, Glucagon is my hero.

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I didn’t notice anyone telling people to not use it. Only that some of us don’t feel the need for it.
That’s what this forum is about, telling our experiences so we can figure our own paths with more information.

Just this week I had a Meniere’s episode that caused me to vomit up my breakfast soon after eating, having prebolused. Luckily, my bg did not go down quickly, but when the arrow started turning down and I was sure I was going to need something more than the CIQ turning off basal, glucose tablets still seemed nauseating. Luckily, plain sugar cubes seemed tolerable, and I sucked a couple, it worked for me – of course, I’d caught it before it got too bad, and the t-slim was also working.

I’m 67 years into this, and know I did pass out some as a child and had at least a couple nighttime seizures as a teenager from low bg. I did, at some point, get glucagon and show my husband how to do it, but, even though he occasionally injected insulin into me at some points in our 54 year marriage, he never thought he could manage glucagon injections or maybe worse, the mixing. In the 1990s, before giving up on NPH, I began having occasional problems during the night, or not waking up in the morning, but he was always able to get juice or glucose gel or something into my mouth (I’d come to and see this terrified-looking man, sometimes with arms seeming to be trying to protect himself). Getting on the pump solved all that, and I haven’t had the problem in 25 years, now.

But, with the always-possible vomiting problem, and having had occasional times when I couldn’t get my bg up probably because of gastroparesis, more recently, and seeing the nasal glucagon now available … Well, I asked for a prescription, and if my copay hadn’t been more than $100, I would have bought it.

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You might be able to use their discount card… These things don’t typically work with medicare but otherwise they are super useful.

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There was one post which listed many reasons that people would or would not need it as if it were valid medical advice. Maybe no one actually said “don’t get it” but many posts could be taken as suggesting it would not be needed if you have “good” control, a cgm etc. The fact is you could have an emergency situation where you need it, whatever your control is, whether you have cgm or not etc. So people should take that into consideration.

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