How do you use the GlucaGen hypokit?
Medically reviewed by Melisa Puckey, BPharm. Last updated on June 18, 2020.
The GlucaGen vial contains a dry powder that must be mixed with sterile water before being administered as an injection. Follow instructions below on how to prepare and administer GlucoGen.
GlucaGen (glucagon) for injection is used to treat very low blood sugar levels (severe hypoglycemia) and can also be used for diagnostic purposes. GlucaGen injection increases the blood sugar levels and can be lifesaving if a patient has severe hypoglycemia and is unable to eat or drink something to increase the blood sugar levels.
Severe low blood sugar is an emergency and you should not leave the person alone.
Very low blood sugar levels if left untreated can cause seizure, coma or death.
Symptoms of very low blood sugar include:
- Coordination difficulties
- Difficulty eating or drinking due to confusion or being uncooperative
How to prepare the GlucaGen injection:
- Open the GlucaGen HypoKit and take out the GlucaGen powder vial and the prefilled syringe containing sterile water. The GlucaGen powder must be mixed with the syringe of sterile water just before administration.
- Remove the orange plastic cap of the GlucaGen vial.
- Pick up the prefilled sterile water syringe in one hand and with the other hand remove the needle cover, being careful not to remove the plastic backstop from the syringe.
- Insert the needle into the rubber stopper of the GlucaGen vial and slowly push the plunger of the syringe down until the syringe is empty.
- Do NOT remove the syringe from the vial.
- Hold the vial and syringe together and gently shake to dissolve the powder. The powder should dissolve to form a clear liquid. Do NOT use if you can see particles in the solution or if a gel has formed.
- With the needle still inserted into the vial carefully turn the vial and syringe upside down, then gently pull down the plunger of the syringe to draw up all of the liquid into the syringe.
- With the needle still inside the vial check for any air bubbles within the syringe. If there are any air bubbles in the syringe gently tap the syringe until the bubbles rise to the top and then gently push the plunger to move the air bubbles out of the syringe and back into the vial.
- The GlucaGen dose for adults and children who weigh over 55 pounds (25kg) is 1mg (1ml). This is all of the contents of one syringe.
- The GlucaGen dose for a person who weighs less than 55 pounds (25kg) is 0.5mg (0.5ml). This means you need to measure out the correct dose by gently pushing the plunger down until it is on the 0.5ml mark on the syringe.
- Once you have the correct dose you can remove the syringe from the vial.
How to administer GlucaGen injection:
- Choose the site where you will be giving the injection and roll away clothing to expose skin. The injection site can be the upper outer arm, thigh or buttocks.
- Gently pinch the skin to form a bump, then insert the needle into the person’s skin and push the plunger down until the syringe is empty.
- Once the syringe is empty pull the needle needle out of the skin.
After the GlucaGen injection:
- Put the patient in the recovery position (roll them onto their side) if they are unconscious to prevent choking, as they may be prone to vomiting.
- Call for emergency help. After having an episode of very low blood sugar levels it is important the patient have medical attention afterwards, even if the patient seems well.
- Once the patient has woken up and is able to swallow, the patient should eat something that is a fast-acting source of sugar and a long-acting source of sugar.
- Severe low blood sugar is a medical emergency.
- Very low blood sugar levels if left untreated can cause seizure, coma or death.
- GlucaGen injection treats very low blood sugar levels and can be a lifesaving treatment.
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