POLL: If you could use Glucagon to prevent severe lows, would you use it?

If you could use Glucagon (nasal or mini doses) to prevent severe lows, would you use it?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Depends on the cost
  • Depends on the side effects

0 voters

Glucagon is generally used by someone other than the diabetic in the event of unconsciousness. If I were conscious, I would probably just eat a snack.

That is how we have been taught, but some new products want to give you the option of using before passing out. I would really like to see the nasal glucagon option available soon.


I would far rather just have a snack than inject myself with an expensive synthetic hormone with minimal history of routine use outside of emergencies


I would potentially use it some of the time if it were both easy to use (meaning both simple to administer and easy to dose in appropriate amounts) and relatively cheap/covered by insurance. For plenty of folks, eating for lows can be annoying if you aren’t otherwise hungry and not wanting the calories. Glucagon could be a way to burn your existing fuel sources instead of consume more, and thereby help weight loss efforts, which may be of interest for the 50% of T1s who are overweight.


Kinda depends on what is meant by “severe.” ON the whole I’d rather have the excuse to eat something I normally deny myself, but on those rare occasions where my eyesight is blanking out it would be nice to have something faster. It would have to be easy to carry around to increase the chances I’d actually have some with me at need because it happens so infrequently.


I haven’t used glucagon since before I began pumping which was 1996. I’m not about to revert to using a super-expensive hormone when I’ve got a variety of things I can eat to elevated my bg’s. I’m not the type of diabetic that needs assistance when I’m low, even if I’m in the 40’s. I just take care of it and get back to whatever I’m doing. A couple times a year or two, I’ll even dip into the high 30’s but I can still manage to recover on my own.

Glucagon is a little tricky. Someone who is having severe low sugar, may get involuntary muscle spasms or be difficult to get to lay still. And that could mess up the injection. Although a couple of times family have tried to use it on me, it has never worked successfully. Paramedics of course use it all the time. But they do temporary IV’s also. And there’s two of them too so someone can hold down the person while the other one gets it set up. A nasal spray would be easy I would imagine. I like honey on lips, or syrup too. Honey works very good. I get counts of low 20s sometimes. 40 is more usual for me and a low. Most times I’m able to treat it on my own without falling out of the chair. Sleeping is a different story though. You must wake up first. Hmmm

Neither am I… and I think that’s an important distinction here… some diabetics are losing their abilities and causing problems any time their blood sugar dips… so maybe in that context anything that helps improve the perception of diabetes as a completely controllable condition is a good thing… although the other side of that coin is that it could be equally perceived as a condition that requires yet another med to control and prevent “emergencies”

I’ve used mini doses on my daughter many times over the past 10 years. I’d say it served its purpose. Through multiple stomach bugs she’s never been to the ER, a fairly common event in children. She’s well-versed in mini dosing, enough that I don’t worry as much now that she’s an adult. We have a limited number of devices to use in managing diabetes. I believe in using every one available in any way that helps.

1 Like

I think part of the point is though, if they could make it less expensive and easier to use (which some folks are trying to do), then it could potentially be a tool that isn’t just for emergencies where people need assistance from others. I have never once in my almost 28 years of being diabetic required emergency assistance from someone else for a low, but I still might be into another option if it weren’t particularly expensive or cumbersome to use, especially if it worked faster and meant I wouldn’t have consume unneeded calories every time I’m low.

That said, my concern would be that I find that after a prolonged low even without glucagon, I have the similar liver depletion/suppression that I would with alcohol, and will tend for the next 12 hours at least to run lower/need less basal, which isn’t really doable on Tresiba. I would expect to see the same with glucagon use. So might need to be using a pump to have it work effectively and then lower basal doses for reduced liver output after glucagon use.

1 Like

I can think of one very specific use for mini doses of glucagon for me. A few years ago I ate a large pasta dinner and dosed for it but then promptly got sick and threw it all up. I spent the next few hours on a high wire trying to keep my BG from dropping too low and unable to eat to correct. A mini dose of glucagon would have been much appreciated in that circumstance had it been available. As for regular use I would be unlikely to use it over food because 1: I love food and 2: fast acting forms of sugar are perfectly adequate for most lows.
I was one of those who frequently needed glucagon as a child because I would lose consciousness and seize pretty often. A nasal or readymade form of glucagon probably would have made it easier on my caretakers especially other kids parents who were so afraid of taking care of a severe low that they didn’t want to be responsible for me.

1 Like

Nasal spray might be safer for the medics to administer if someone is having a seizure…although they do the IV because its super fast acting.

1 Like

Is that why I always feel like a pin cushion? A pin cushion that got hit blindside by a 100 ton train…

I was listening to police radio today and there was someone having a diabetic seizure…better not have been u, El_Ver.

Not me @mohe0001. I can never have one again if I want to continue driving.

Thanks for asking tho…

Ever? Not even at home? Or, just behind the wheel? What state are you in? Maybe we could get that changed…Is it CA? I hope its not IL.

@mohe0001 hypos are fine, as long as they are not severe or lasting (stubborn). Severe hypos that cause loss of consciousness or seizures are an issue, even if they are at home. If 911 gets called for a severe hypo causing seizures and whatnot, they report to Bureau of Vital Stats who then reports to DMV. It’s a vicious circle. Alternately, if you tell your Dr that you are having severe hypos and they mark it in your chart, then by CA law it has to be reported to DMV. When I asked for a CGM and listed my reasons for one, my Endo was nice enough to warn me it would be part of my record and be reported to DMV.

Separately I have been in front of the DMV MRB several times, and have had several warnings re: hypos and such. I first lost my HazMat commercial endorsement, then all my endorsements, then my commercial license. I’m on my last chance. A DUI would be preferable to a hypo, so I don’t take chances, ever.

How are you? Well I hope? Don’t let a minor set back get you down. The Japanese use a process called Kaizen to achieve their goals, and this is one stop on the Kaizen trail.

1 Like

I’m trying to lose weight, which I’ve been at for years and is very difficult. I believe part of my difficulty is the number of lows I need to treat, all those extra calories do add up. I would definitely use mini-dose glucagon to treat lows. In fact, I have used expired traditional glucagon kits as mini doses just to see how they work, and they do bring blood sugar up fairly quickly (at least as quickly as eating). It would also be nice to use in the middle of the night, as I hate having to eat or drink something when I’m not hungry. I can’t wait till it comes to market.


It’s funny, but I was diagnosed as a kid and I’ve been told I can use mini dose glucagon at nearly every appointment I have with a CDE for the past 27 years. I’m not sure if it’s just something that tends to be recommended to kids only (though I’ve had it mentioned numerous times as an adult as well), or whether it’s just not often recommended in the US compared to Canada (at least the area I live in). People seem to act like mini dose glucagon is a wildly and crazy idea, but that is not at all my experience. I don’t think any endocrinologist here would act surprised if you mentioned to them that you’d used mini dose glucagon to treat a low yourself.