Unconsciousness & Glocogun

I was in a meeting and told the group that I will be going with abroad about my Diabetes. As usual, everyone started talking about their experience with D…I have an aunt…grandpa…“a friend of mine in high school which he had a hypo and went into coma, I gave him the shot”…etc

I said:" I carry a Glucogun in my bag No worries, I been taking care of my self, last time I been unconscious was…I will say over a 10 years ago…" Which they were kinda surprise that am saying it with a proud!!!

I started recently carrying the Glucogun since am going to be leaving the country for a while!

I had D for 28 years and I can’t remember any time where I was injected with a Glucogun, how does it feel?
Is it similar to taking 15 grams of carbs?
Should I give it to my self if I was low like 30s?
Does it expire?


I believe that glucogon shots are not self-administered but only to be given by someone else if you are unconscious and able to self-treat. If you are conscious then glucose tablets will do the job. I think there are side effects to glucogon? I have never used it because I live alone. The one time I had a really bad low I was, I believe unconscious but then my liver jumped in and dumped more glucose and then I took my blood sugar and was 38 and treated myself with glucose tabs (though I was unable to count or keep track of time so I took too many). that was before I understood how to use insulin and haven’t had anything remotely like it since then.

After 46 years of T1 I have never been injected either so can’t help you on how it feels. And I don’t know that much about it. If I am low like 30 and conscience I will eat my skittles which I always have on me. Since I live alone if I do go way too low and pass out which I have done maybe two times I just have to wait it out till I come around. Which thankfully I always have. I now have the Dexcom 7+ so I am always alarmed to any unexpected lows or highs.

Interesting, so when a diabetic get unconscious his liver kick in glucose to wake the body! Is this confirmed? I never knew that!?
Side effects! The only thing that the pharmacist told me is that when been injected the person need to be on his side, since there is a possibility of vomiting, which will chock you if you are laying on your back!

I’ve gotten gluagon shots before when I passed out and started seizing but I don’t know of anyside affects besides high bs. It took about 15 minutes for me to come to (according to others there) . I was kinda out and useless. 199 got called while doing it and usually left me here b/c I was awake then. Always have had to bring my bg back down though! Good idea to take it with you though! Just incase! Please always inform whoever your with when to use it and how. Kinda important. Well really important!

I have never been given Glucagon, but I did have to give it working at a diabetes camp. It did cause significant vomiting, and the camper felt like crap for the remainder of the day. We then chased high glucose readings for the rest of the day and following day.

Most diabetics have no glucagon response to save us from dangerous lows, or we wouldn’t have lows. You definitely should not count on this.

Glucagon injections can cause extreme nausea & vomiting, yes. If you’re traveling with someone, good idea to instruct them how to inject it & that they shouldn’t attempt to give you any glucose while passed out. Also, it expires so make sure it’s current.

I have had glucagon given to me many times, first by parents, then roommate, then husband. I have never administered it to myself, even when low, because it really messes with how i feel after the injection. I get very nauseated, often with gagging/dry heaves, often diarrhea, and a huge, huge, magnaminous headache. The vomiting/diarrhea pass within 2 to 4 hours, the nausea & headache stay all day. This is just me. It is really important to train a traveling companion how to utilize the glucagon, just in case you pass out or cannot be woken up. It does expire, my prescription is contained like the one you have pictured above, and the expiration date is listed on the outside of the case on the prescription label. As someone else mentioned, never rely on your liver dumping glucose out for you if you are unconscious - not everyone has this capability! Keep it with you if you need it, but here’s to safe travels for you and no need to open the glucagon case! :slight_smile:

I do,when I don’t have access to food,but it makes me so nauseous that it’s so hard to eat after it,I did it maybe twice and I’m still 1 year diabetic…
I think it’s good thing what you’re doing,carrying it with you all the time,just make sure there’s a medical alert around you or else it’s useless.
as for the side affects,the one that you mentioned are the most common ones,but no need to worry,just follow the instructions,a fellow diabetic of mine hates it,she even tells her family not use it since it make her so nauseous that she makes them take her to the hospital instead of administering it.
as for the expiry date,my educator,many of them,so it’s a fact,says that a glucagon can work till 6 months after the expiry date listed on the package .
and yeah,glucagon is hormone that’s normally regulated by the pancreas,secreted from the alpha cells,it lets the liver convert the stored glycogen into glucose,and it has the opposite effect of insulin.
hope it helps ^^

I really am surprised at how many people have had to have the glucagon injection to recover from a low. If I am with family or friends someone will always catch on to if I am starting to go low. They will tell me to check my sugar or eat something, or if I am too far gone and am getting stubborn then they will bring my skittles to me or make me drink something or whatever. The thing is, they do recognize a low and help me before I go unconscious.

Glucagon is the medical equivalent to the “Davy Crockett” shoulder-fired nuclear bomb. It’s the last line of defense, for when there is NO OTHER way to raise your bg, because you’re unconscious or having convulsions. It kicks your liver into super liver-dump mode and raises your bg fast, and by a lot too.

I’ve had it once, I was unconscious, my wife called 911, the paramedics came and gave it to me.

It is not like popping Pez. It’s serious stuff. It has side effects - in me, extreme extreme nausea. Not fun stuff.

I have given on the ambulance to other patients especially those with no IV access and I muself have gotten it a couple of times out of the 16 yrs I have had t1. it is no fun my arm hurts when I wake up umm the nausea sucks for like a whole day. the headache is really bad but I will take all that over death. glucogon does work for diabetics but it has a short life span and recuires either follow up with medical care or as much food or carbs as needed to get your sugar in normal range. Always always train others who spend time with you how to use it and if they are not comfortable with that then tell the to call 911 it is better to call and be safe then not call and be sorry.

I’ve had Glucagon but don’t remember. I was hypounaware many years ago before starting the pump (reason for pumping). Glucagon is not any type of sweet injection it has a enyzme that kick starts the liver to spew out glucose.

Thank you all for this wonderful flood of information… I really appreciate it

If you’re conscious, you should treat with 15 grams carbs. If you’re conscious but woozie, combative, unwilling to eat the carbs, then your friend should try liquid carbs that he/she can squirt between your teeth and gums and rub in. My daughter carries some kind of goo made for diabetics, but you can also buy decorating icing, which comes in a small toothpaste-like tube, instead. (Flour and cake mix aisle of the grocery store.) You don’t want the glucagon unless you’re unconscious, so as others have said, you won’t be giving it to yourself.

I just bought a glucagon kit, and it expires in about 1 1/2 years. No idea what happens if you use it when it’s expired. I only know one person who’s actually given glucagon. The advise she gave me was to be sure that you get the shot if you should become unconscious and not to wait for 911. If there’s only one person with you he/she should use the glucagon first, and call 911 second.

I hope you have a great time on your trip and that it is diabetes uneventful.

My husband has given me glucagon twice. It happened at night when I went low suddenly and I wasn’t conscious enough to take any orange juice. Like someone said, it’s a last ditch effort. Unless you have someone with you who knows how to inject, then it’s probably a waste to carry around with you, you wouldn’t give it to yourself. If you have a travel companion, you could leave at the hotel or wherever staying. I keep mine in the kitchen. I don’t remember side effects although I felt like crap afterwards I don’t know if it was because of the extreme low or the glucagon.

Oh, boy, is this a topic for me!

I’ve been given glucagon probably about a hundred times. As others have said, you don’t give it to yourself. If you’re conscious, eat sugar. When you’re unconscious, people probably shouldn’t give you sugar. People have tried to give it to me when I’m having a seizure. I never choke or anything, but I’m generally incapable of chewing it. If it’s a glucose tab or a sugar cube, it will eventually melt, but, if you’re that low, one or two glucose tabs aren’t going to do you any good.

Anyway, what does a shot feel like? Well, unfortunately, every time I’ve gotten one, I’ve been unconscious, so I don’t really remember. It never left any bad side effects (except for very elevated sugars for a while). It didn’t hurt or anything. (Well, you have really bad side effects after a severe low, but that comes from the low, not from the glucagon. Basically, the feeling you get after a severe low is like the feeling you get if you went out on a bender and drank 10 bottles of vodka time ten. I assume, I’m not really a drinker.)

As to the liver giving producing sugar to bring you up, it will do that. I’ve had thousands of severe lows (ie: unconsciousness) when I was on my own, and my body always produced sugar to bring me up. It just takes a while and hurts like hell afterward. I don’t know if this happens for everyone, but I believe it happens for almost all diabetics.

Finally, I wouldn’t worry too much about going abroad. I guess it depends where you’re going, but, generally, if you’re a good diabetic (without problems with lows) when you leave, you’ll be a good diabetic while you’re gone.

Never give an unconscious person anything to eat or drink. That’s a way to kill them.

I’ve never had my liver kick in when low. Don’t know how low a person needs to be for this to happen, if it happens, but I’m not waiting to find out. People die from diabetic comas, so it doesn’t work for everyone.

I was reading somewhere online that theres a concept of using small doses of glucagon for a correction (low correction)… and that if your somewhat conscience you can usally get away with a half-dose and not have such a severe rebound as with a full dose of glucagon…

As always YMMV
Personally id check with a CDE/Diabetes Pro. but im wondering if you can give a person half a dose, and if they dont respond, give them the rest.

Iv seen it happen but never had it used/happen to me… It usually results in nausea/vomiting and a nasty rebound high blood sugar… And a general feeling of sick/headache/beaten up…

A small dose of a $200 drug (yes, that is how much a glucagon kit costs now) as a correction?

If you’re conscious, eat sugar. I’ve had glucagon. It really is the medical equivalent of the Davy Crockett shoulder-fired nuclear bomb. The Davy Crockett was for when the Russkies come streaming out of East Germany with a hundred thousand tanks, and you’re just a small platoon given the job of stopping them from overrunning Western Europe. It’s a noble last-gasp defense (and oh, BTW, you might be sick from radiation poisoning after you use it). Similarly glucagon is for when there’s no other choice to raise bg. And oh, yeah, the super-duper nausea is for real. I think I would’ve rather had radiation poisoning.