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Glucagon: 7 things you should know

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 28, 2023.

1. How it works

2. Upsides

3. Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

Note: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. View complete list of side effects

4. Bottom Line

Glucagon is a synthetic hormone that may be used to treat severely low blood sugar levels (severe hypoglycemia) in adults and children with diabetes, or as a diagnostic aid during a radiologic examination. Family members and caregivers should recognize the signs of severe hypoglycemia and act quickly. Glucagon may be used when people are unconscious or having a seizure and works within 10 minutes. Trials report that 100% of people respond within 30 minutes.

5. Tips

6. Response and effectiveness

7. Interactions

Medicines that interact with glucagon may either decrease its effect, affect how long it works, increase side effects, or have less of an effect when taken with glucagon. An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of the medications; however, sometimes it does. Speak to your doctor about how drug interactions should be managed.

Common medications that may interact with glucagon include:

Note that this list is not all-inclusive and includes only common medications that may interact with glucagon. You should refer to the prescribing information for glucagon for a complete list of interactions.


Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use glucagon only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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