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First Aid & Emergencies

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Insulin Reaction Treatment

Call 911 if the person has:

  • A severe reaction
  • A seizure
  • A loss of consciousness

  • A severe reaction
  • A seizure
  • A loss of consciousness

For a severe reaction:

  • While waiting for emergency help, inject glucagon if you are trained to do so.

For moderate to mild symptoms:

1. Raise Blood Sugar

Give the person a high-sugar food such as:

  • 3 to 4 glucose tablets
  • 1/3 to 1/2 tube of glucose in gel form
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 large or 6 small sugar cubes in water
  • 4 oz. to 6 oz. of regular soda, not diet
  • 1 tablespoon of molasses, honey, or corn syrup
  • 5 hard candies

2. Repeat Treatment, if Necessary

  • After 15 minutes, test blood sugar, if possible.
  • If symptoms persist or blood sugar reading is below 70 mg/dL, give another high-sugar food.
  • If the person's next meal is more than 30 minutes away, give the person a small snack, such as 1/2 sandwich, 1 oz. cheese with 4 to 6 crackers, or 1 tablespoon peanut butter with 4 to 6 crackers.

3. When to Get Medical Help Immediately

  • If the person still doesn't feel better, go to a hospital emergency room or call 911.

4. Follow Up

  • If you go to the hospital, doctors may give sugar intravenously.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on December 28, 2013

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