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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetes: How to Give Glucagon - Topic Overview

Two bottles in the package

  • This kit contains two bottles: a bottle of glucagon powder and a bottle of diluent. The kit does not include a syringe. You can use an insulin syringe to prepare and give the injection.
  • Follow these steps when you have a kit with two bottles:
    1. Remove the seals from the tops of both bottles. Don't touch the rubber area of the bottle tops.
    2. Take the cover off the needle of the syringe and pull back on the plunger to draw air into the syringe.
    3. Insert the needle of the syringe into the bottle that contains liquid (diluent) and push the plunger of the syringe to force air from the syringe into the bottle.
    4. Leave the needle of the syringe in the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down and pull back on the plunger to draw the liquid into the syringe.
    5. Remove the needle of the syringe from the bottle, and insert it into the bottle that contains glucagon powder.
    6. Push the plunger to force the liquid from the syringe into the glucagon bottle. Remove the needle from the bottle. Carefully put the cover back on the needle and put the syringe in a safe place.
    7. Gently shake the bottle until the solution is clear.
    8. Remove the cover from the needle of the syringe. Insert the needle back into the bottle and pull back on the plunger to draw all the solution (about 1 mL) into the syringe.

Giving a glucagon injection

  • Glucagon is given just like an injection of insulin and can be given in the same areas of the body as insulin.
  • Follow these steps slideshow.gif to give the injection:
    1. Turn the person's head to the side to prevent choking if he or she vomits.
    2. With one hand, slightly pinch a fold of skin between your fingers.
    3. Hold the syringe like a pencil close to the site, keeping your fingers off the plunger. Usually the syringe goes straight into the skin (90-degree angle). But for thin adults and small children with little fat, the needle may need to go in at a slant (45-degree angle) to keep the medicine from going into muscle.
    4. Bend your wrist, and quickly push the needle all the way into the pinched-up area.
    5. Push the plunger of the syringe all the way in so that the medicine goes into the tissue. Give the amount of glucagon that the person's doctor has recommended.
    6. Remove the needle from the skin slowly and at the same angle that you inserted it.
    7. Give some quick-sugar food when the person is alert.
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