If you have diabetes, your doctor might suggest GlucaGen as a treatment option. It’s a prescription drug used for the following:
- to treat severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in adults and children with diabetes
- to pause movement of the digestive tract in adults undergoing certain diagnostic tests
The active ingredient in the product is glucagon. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. Glucagon is a medication in the class of drugs called glucose elevating drugs.
You can mix the powder with water to make a liquid solution. This solution is given as one of the others.
Only a healthcare professional can inject GlucaGen into your vein.
This article describes the dosages of GlucaGen, as well as its strength and how to take it. To learn more about GlucaGen, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers GlucaGen’s usual dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. But when using GlucaGen, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
The section covers dosages and administration information. Your doctor will give you the dosage instructions for this medication.
What are the forms of GlucaGen?
The following forms are used for GlucaGen.
- GlucaGen HypoKit: This kit contains 1 milliliter (mL) of sterile water in a syringe and 1 milligram (mg) of GlucaGen in a single-dose vial.
- GlucaGen Diagnostic Kit: This kit comes with 1 mL of sterile water in a syringe and 1 mg of GlucaGen in a single-dose vial.
- A single-dose vial of GlucaGen.
What strength does GlucaGen come in?
One gram of the drug per 1 mL of sterile water is the strength.
What are the usual dosages of GlucaGen?
“Your doctor will usually give you a low dose of GlucaGen. If your symptoms don’t improve after your first dose, they may have you use more.”
The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for severe low blood sugar
The recommended GlucaGen HypoKit dosage for severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is 1 mg/1 mL of sterile water. It’s injected as a single dose in one of the following ways:
- under the skin
- Into a muscle.
- into a vein (only a healthcare professional may inject the drug into your vein)
If the symptoms are not alleviated after 15 minutes, a second dose may be used.
Dosage for use with certain radiology exams
The recommended dosage for use with diagnostic tests varies depending on which part of the digestive tract your doctor needs to treat. After your doctor decides the correct dosage for your condition, they’ll inject it as a single dose.
The chart shows recommended dosages for diagnostic tests. Each dose of the drug comes in 1 mL of sterile water.
|Injection type||Dosage to relax stomach or small intestine||Dosage to relax large intestine|
|Into a vein||0.2 mg to 0.5 mg||0.5 mg to 0.75 mg|
|Into a muscle||1 mg||1 mg to 2 mg|
What’s the dosage of GlucaGen for children?
The age and body weight of the children are used to calculate the dosage of GlucaGen. Each dose is injected in a single way.
- under the skin
- Into a muscle.
- into a vein (only a healthcare professional may inject the drug into a child’s vein)
“If the child’s symptoms don’t improve after 15 minutes, a second dose may be given.”
The table shows the GlucaGen HypoKit dosage for children.
|Child’s weight||GlucaGen HypoKit dosage|
|25 kg or more||1 mg in 1 mL sterile water|
|Less than 25 kg||0.5 mg in 0.5 mL sterile water|
|Unknown in children ages 6 years and older||1 mg in 1 mL sterile water|
|Unknown in children ages 5 years and younger||0.5 mg in 0.5 mL sterile water|
The weight is 2.2 pounds.
Is GlucaGen used long term?
When prescribed for episodes of low blood sugar, GlucaGen is usually used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor agree that it is safe and effective for you, you will likely use it for a long time.
GlucaGen is usually injected as a one-time dose when used for diagnostic testing.
When GlucaGen is used to treat severe low blood sugar, you can inject a second dose 15 minutes after the first if the first dose doesn’t work well enough.
The doctor may have a different idea of the correct amount of GlucaGen. These include:
- The type and severity of the condition you are treating with GlucaGen.
- Your age.
- Your weight.
- You are using the form of GlucaGen.
- How do you inject GlucaGen?
- How well your body responds to GlucaGen is what you can see under the heading “Dosage adjustments”.
If you are using the drug for a diagnostic test, your doctor will prepare and inject the Diagnostic Kit or single-use vial.
Once you are fully awake and able to eat or drink after receiving a GlucaGen injection, you should consume 15 grams (g) of fast-acting carbohydrates.
Recovery from low blood sugar may require help from others. Let your family and friends know about your HypoKit and how to use it.
For information on GlucaGen expiration, storage, and disposal, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
“If you can’t read the prescription label on your medication, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies may provide medication labels.”
- Large print or use of blind.
- You can use a code on a phone to change the text to sound.
“If your current pharmacy doesn’t offer accessibility features, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a new pharmacy.”
If you use more GlucaGen than your doctor prescribes, you can be in danger of serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms can be caused by a GlucaGen overdose.
- hypokalemia (decreased potassium levels)
- increased blood pressure
- The heart rate went up.
- It is a problem of the colon.
What to do in case you use too much GlucaGen
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve injected too much GlucaGen. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages provided by the drug manufacturer are described in the sections above. If your doctor recommends it, they will prescribe the correct amount of GlucaGen.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of GlucaGen without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take GlucaGen exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask them:
- Will my GlucaGen dosage be affected by my regular foods?
- When will my child need to take adult-sized GlucaGen?
- Is it safe to use more than two doses of GlucaGen in a day?
How will I know if my loved one needs a shot of GlucaGen?
GlucaGen should be given as soon as you recognize signs of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These can include:
- blurry vision
- Difficult concentrating
- fatigue (low energy)
- There is a throbbing head.
- pale skin
- rapid heartbeat
- It is restless.
- slurred speech
There are signs of dangerously low blood sugar.
Life threatening low blood sugar can be life threatening. It is important that you get emergency medical help when you notice the symptoms.
The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.